As Oil Approaches Lake Michigan, Daley Addresses Spill, Carp Issues

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 29, 2010 8:20PM

Bad news out of Michigan where reports say that oil from this week's spill has breached Morrow Dam and is now travelling downriver, as far as halfway from the spill site to Lake Michigan. The reports come even as Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm's office and the EPA continue a public dispute over the spill's reach. Granholm's officereleased photos (one is above) that claim to show an oil sheen Lake Morrow while EPA officials deny the claim. Officials are also suggesting the evacuation of as many as 50 homes located near the original spill site near Battle Creek, Michigan.

Meanwhile, back at home, our own civic leader aired his thoughts on the ongoing situation. Speaking at a press conference to announce the 2011 budget for the City Colleges of Chicago, Mayor Daley took the opportunity to address the oil spill on the Kalamazoo River, its threat to Lake Michigan, and even took a chance to tie it to the ongoing Asian Carp issue, slipping in a few shots at Michigan's lawsuit regarding the carp. "Oil is worse than carp," said Daley, before offering some legal advice:

“We’re asking the attorney general of the state of Michigan to criminally investigate this and find out where the oil spill [started] and what effect it’s gonna have on our drinking water. Great Lakes mayors . . . are concerned about that. Michigan better do something about the criminal and civil investigation, who’s paying for it and who had the oil spill in the Kalamazoo River because it’s flowing into Lake Michigan.”

Daley insisted he wasn't holding a grudge against Michigan for the ongoing Asian Carp lawsuit - "It doesn't matter where (the oil) comes from. The Great Lakes is a source of drinking water for all of us here in the Midwest and in Canada. It is very important to protect."- but then he hit a bit below the belt with some thoughts on the lawsuit, saying it wasn't "common sense."

"Asian carp are legal in rivers, but they want to make it illegal in a lake," Daley said with a laugh. "If it's legal in the Mississippi, all through the Mississippi, how do you say it's illegal in a lake?" he asked.

Of course, if the oil does reach Lake Michigan as some officials might fear, the Asian Carp will take a back seat in terms of priority.