LANSING— Sen. Darwin Booher announced today that he will serve as co-chair of the newly created Senate Oil and Gas Task Force, which will look at and discuss various issues surrounding the oil and gas industries and their impact on Michigan’s economy.
“I look forward to examining the current deterrents and incentives to increased access to Michigan’s oil and natural gas resources,” said Booher, R-Evart. “My goal as co-chair is to help develop solutions that will help meet our energy needs by bringing local resources to market more efficiently – and do so while striking a smart balance between job creation and environmental protection.”
Joining Booher on the bipartisan task force are: co-chair Sen. Howard Walker, R-Traverse City; Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; Sen. John Moolenaar, R-Midland; Sen. Mark Jansen, R-Grand Rapids; Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor; and Sen. Steven Bieda, D-Warren.
“The recent energy emergency in the Upper Peninsula due to temporary shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel caused by a shutdown of a pipeline in Wisconsin illustrates the need to look at home for our energy needs,” Booher said. “We must take a comprehensive look at our oil and gas industries, their impact on our economy and their potential to safely increase production.
“Our evaluation will include examining our state’s natural gas infrastructure and what we can do to encourage conversion to natural gas for power generation. All this will be done with an eye on how we can energize our economy and also safeguard Michigan’s great natural wonders.”
The task force will hold hearings to learn about and discuss various issues involving the oil and gas industries and then report its findings and possible policy recommendations to the Senate.