Ohio Governor John Kasich is facing mounting pressure to veto a bill that would allow factories to withdraw far more water from Lake Erie than currently allowed. I hope he does.
The bill in question, HB 231, which I discussed in a recent post (Sad times ahead for Lake Erie), was intended to bring the state into alignment with the Great Lakes Compact. It passed the Republican-led state Legislature last month over the objections of two former Ohio governors and a former state natural resources director, as well those of newspapers across the state and a network of environmental organizations. Governors of the states of New York and Michigan are also expressing concern about the potential impact of HB 231. Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said a decision will be announced today.
How Ohio's new governor handles this situation will tell us a lot about not only his future style of governance but also the way he views Lake Erie issues. Will he simply rubber stamp his legislative colleague's work and sign the bill? Or will he veto it and tell them to go back to the drawing board?
When he gave his brief remarks Monday in Port Clinton on the occasion of Fish Ohio Day, the governor came off as ill-informed about critical issues facing the lake. Or maybe he was just disinterested.
We'll see what happens today.