Thank oil, gas industry
The Cheers and Jeers published April 7 acknowledged the Department of Natural Resources awarding of $5 million to Grand Traverse, Benzie and Kalkaska counties for various important projects. Also worthy to acknowledge is the fact that all money awarded not only to these counties but all Michigan counties through this fund comes from royalties from the sale and lease of state-owned mineral rights.
Since the inception of the fund in 1976 Benzie County has received $12,759,203 while Kalkaska County has received $5,867,000. Grand Traverse County faired even better receiving a whopping $39,742,713 from the fund. DNR’s website further reveals totals of all counties in Michigan have received $989,838,978 since 1976 as a result of developing our oil and natural gas.
Our regulatory agencies negotiated with the oil and gas industry to make sure all of Michigan’s citizens’ benefit from our resources. Many states wish they had such a program and are now playing catch up since the development of technology such as hydraulic fracturing has opened up vast quantities of these resources and opportunities. The next time you visit a public recreational site, check the DNR site, you probably have the oil and gas industry to thank.
The writer is field representative for Energy In Depth, a research, education and public outreach campaign supported by the oil and gas industry.