Proos praises Gov. Snyder for energy foresight, protecting the Great Lakes

LANSING—Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday outlined his vision of a comprehensive energy policy that would safely and efficiently deliver the energy needed to help grow the economy – and do so in a manner that protects Michigan’s environment, said Sen. John Proos.

“I applaud the governor for stepping forward with a plan of action that balances ensuring reliable, affordable energy and protecting our natural resources,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The need for dependable energy supplies by job providers, schools and families is already paramount and will only become more important in the years to come.”

Snyder delivered his Special Message on Energy and the Environment at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station near Kalamazoo, calling for long-term, adaptable energy policies. “We must pursue policies that can adapt with the times while still offering solutions that will provide a future for our kids,” Snyder said.  

“We are reliant on energy in nearly every aspect of our daily lives,” Proos said. “Improving access to affordable energy is critical to maintaining a high quality of life. One way we can ensure this is to follow the governor’s recommendation to create a natural gas strategic reserve to take advantage of our state’s abundance of the resource.”

Proos noted that he recently graduated from the Legislative Energy Horizon Institute, a program through the U.S. Department of Energy, National Council of State Legislatures and the University of Idaho. “As the only Michigan lawmaker to complete the program, I appreciate the governor’s vision and his urgency to address these critical issues.”

On the environment, Snyder mentioned that the Great Lakes are Michigan’s greatest natural asset, yet aquatic invasive species are increasingly threatening the ecosystem. The governor said he will hold a Mackinac Island summit with the eight Great Lakes governors and Canadian officials to coordinate strategies to reduce the risk of new invasive species and ways to manage those already here so they do not devastate those precious resources.  

“Aquatic invasive species like Asian carp should be a top priority and deserve our full attention,” Proos said. “The impact of Asian carp getting into Lake Michigan would be catastrophic. Billions of dollars in economic activity and thousands of Michigan jobs would be wiped out. The livelihoods of thousands of Southwest Michigan families are at risk, and I have repeatedly urged the president to act to prevent an ecological and economic disaster.”

Last year the Senate adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by Proos, calling for the federal government to immediately close the O’Brien Lock and Dam in the Chicago Waterway System and keep the locks closed until federal legislation to prevent the migration of Asian carp and other invasive species into Lake Michigan is enacted into law.

“As the vice chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, a father of three young children and a lifelong resident of Michigan’s Great Southwest, I look forward to working with the governor to protect our Great Lakes and energize our economy for generations to come,” said Proos.

Snyder’s Special Message on Energy and the Environment is available online at


Editor’s Note: Audio comments by Proos will be available this evening on the senator’s website at Click on “Podcasts.”