Arguing that “oil is worse than Asian Carp,” an indignant Mayor Daley on Thursday demanded that Michigan’s attorney general launch a criminal investigation into an oil spill that dumped a million gallons of oil into a waterway leading to Lake Michigan.
Daley noted that the state of Michigan was quick to react to the Asian carp scare, filing a series of lawsuits demanding that the O’Brien and Chicago locks be closed to shipping.
That’s a move that, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce contends, would cost the local economy $4.7 billion over the next 20 years.
This morning, the mayor fired back.
“I’m concerned about oil, too. Oil is worse than carp. Oil basically destroys your drinking water. . . . Oil is going into the Great Lakes. . . . The Great Lakes is the source of drinking water for all of us in the Midwest and in Canada. It is very important to protect,” Daley said.
“We’re asking the attorney general of the state of Michigan to criminally investigate this and find out where the oil spill [started] and what effect it’s gonna have on our drinking water. Great Lakes mayors . . . are concerned about that. Michigan better do something about the criminal and civil investigation, who’s paying for it and who had the oil spill in the Kalamazoo River because it’s flowing into Lake Michigan.”
The Environmental Protection Agency now believes more than a million gallons of oil may have leaked from a pipeline run by Canada-based Enbridge, Inc. into Talmadge Creek, which runs into the Kalamazoo River that feeds Lake Michigan.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has warned of a “tragedy of historic proportions” if the oil spill reported Monday reaches Lake Michigan 80 miles away. Granholm has called the clean-up efforts marshaled by the EPA and Enbridge “wholly inadequate.”
Scores of birds and fish have been coated with oil from the spill, creating a mini-Midwest version of the ugly disaster playing out for months in the Gulf of Mexico.
When it comes to Asian Carp, Michigan Attorney General Michael Cox has been unrelenting, despite being shot down twice by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Last week, Cox joined counterparts from four other states in filing a federal lawsuit seeking to force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to take emergency action to block Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan.
They argued that the threat had become more imminent after a live bighead carp was found last month in a waterway only six miles from where it meets Lake Michigan — far beyond an electric barrier designed to block Asian Carp.
“We have Asian Carp coming up from the Mississippi [River]. Come on,” Daley said today.
“See, Asian Carp are legal in rivers. But they want to make it illegal in the lake. That does not make common sense. You cannot make something legal in a river and illegal in a lake. That’s impossible.”