The future of Lodi, Saline, and surrounding areas depends in large part upon the will of our legislators and representatives. These individuals can choose one of three paths:
• They can side with the folks they represent and pass and/or enforce ordinances and laws that protect our homes and environment
• They can ignore the problem and take a “wait and see” approach
• They can side with out-of-town oil interests and their paid supporters as they extract resources while putting our area at risk
The best way to impact the situation is to elect representation that truly represents your views on the topic. In the spirit of a supporting a well-informed electorate, nopaxton.com has asked local legislators vying for positions to provide position statements on oil and gas exploration, drilling, and extraction in the Saline/Lodi/Washtenaw County area. We emailed all three Lodi Township Supervisor candidates and present their responses below:
Jeff Feldkamp’s Response:
I would like to be able to tell you that if elected I would curb alldrilling activities. Unfortunately we both know that in the state of Michigan it would take a very small amount of time for the courts to allow the drilling to restart. If elected I would want to support the owners of property who do not want drilling to occur and would try to educate and assist in any legal avenue which can be determined to be helpful in accomplishing this goal. Currently our residents are selling out their neighbors for a shot at the gold (oil) royalties and are doing this usually at a fast talk by a quick witted sales team.
There are many concerns about deep drilling which I have been discussing with our neighboring water purveyor, Fracking is also a concern which although has been verbally discussed by the drilling company as not going to happen has never been written into any contracts anyway to my knowledge. We need to move forward with our economy and to do this our state is allowing oil exploration but ourcommunity needs to know what its giving away and what dangers there actions may cause.
I hope this quick statement will help you make an informed decision for the upcoming election I want you to know that the preservation of our township and its controlled improvements is of the utmost concern to me. Respectfully, Jeff Feldkamp
Jan Godek’s Response:
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the gas/oil exploration currently taking place in the county. As you know, per the Michigan Enabling Act, townships, villages, and cities in the state of Michigan, have no ability to regulate gas/oil exploration, drilling or operations.
I don't see the state changing the law in the near future, the northern lower and Upper Peninsula depend so much on these resources for their economy. That being said, would I actively support a change in this law? Absolutely! Amending the law, even just a little, to give the local units of government some control, would ease so much of the anxiety surrounding these operations. We can regulate other natural resources (like sand and gravel) and this hasn't prevented the mining of those resources. We can require environmental testing, restoration, hours of operation, and deal with other issues to assure a safe environment for our residents.
I'm not quite sure how to answer your question concerning what I'd do if drilling began in the Township. As indicated above, at this time there are really no options. All I can tell you is I'd use every tool available to be sure residents of the Township would be protected from harm.
I'm sure you'd like to hear a much different response, and I wish I could give you one, but I have to be as honest as I can given the current status of the law.
Karen Edman's Response
I do not have a position on the Paxton issue. Policy makers need to bring the information to the people that they represent and I would make every attempt to bring reliable and informative facts to the residents of the township. I would hope that I can look to the "Nopaxton" group for credible information.