Handouts hurt

To the Journal editor:

The recent legislation signed into law by Governor Snyder’s administration aimed at providing tax breaks for oil companies undermines property rights and insults Michigan’s taxpayers.

Essentially a handout to oil drillers, the legislation provides for a 40 percent reduction in the oil severance tax as well as 20 percent for natural gas.

It encourages an oil recovery system which entails pumping Carbon Dioxide into closed wells to extract what was previously unattainable. It also allows for oil companies to exercise eminent domain to run pipelines through private property.

With BP recently spilling 1,600 gallons of oil into Lake Michigan, this legislation aimed at expanding drilling in Michigan is an insult to property owners, taxpayers, and citizens who enjoy our natural resources.

Anyone who claims that the carbon sequestration practices are environmentally friendly ignores the fact that increased oil combustion will likely lead to the release of more greenhouse gases. It also makes our valuable clean water more vulnerable to contamination.

Instead of giving handouts to oil drillers, shouldn’t Michigan continue progress to the 10-percent-by-2015 renewable energy standard?

Daisy Yonkus