Lake Erie is, without a doubt, one of Ohio’s greatest natural assets. So you’d think Ohioans – especially those in Congress – would take every opportunity to protect it.
Today the House voted on a bill (H.R. 3408) sponsored by Kathy Castor (FL) that would prevent drilling in the Great Lakes and the Florida Everglades.
According to the final vote results, Ohio’s Republican delegation (with the exception of Steve Austria, who didn’t vote) all voted to reject additional protections including Steve Chabot, Jean Schmidt, Mike Turner, Jim Jordan, Bob Latta, Bill Johnson, Pat Tiberi, Steve LaTourette, Steve Stivers, Jim Renacci and Bob Gibbs.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Ohio’s Lake Erie region helps to generate nearly 30 percent of Ohio’s tourism dollars, with visitors spending over $10.7 billion annually, and it generates $750 million in state and local taxes.
It also provides opportunities for “1.5 million hunters and anglers who spend $2 billion“, “a recreational boating industry that supports more than 26,000 jobs with an economic impact of $3.5 billion annually”, and “drinking water for 3 million Ohio residents”.
Ohio’s Democrats, including Kucinich, Kaptur, Fudge, Sutton and Ryan, all voted for the expanded protections.