Grands Rapids Mayor: Hate the Drillers, Love Their Money

City mayor says humanity has 'infected' the planet

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell has become a hero to the global warming movement with his anti-oil comments. The mayor has said, “Our planet is sick and it is we who have infected it.”

In a January speech, Heartwell called for an end to hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as “fracking”) and said he would ask the county and governor to do the same.

However, Heartwell appears to have no problem with taking money collected from oil companies for using hydraulic fracturing when drilling on state land to fund city government spending. MLive reported that Grand Rapids plans to request a $7.5 million grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The city would use that money, which comes from royalties paid by oil and gas drillers, to buy six properties that are owned by Kent County, Michigan State University and the city's parking system.

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The trust fund was created in 1976 and is funded with oil, gas, and other mineral lease and royalty payments to the state. Companies in Michigan have been using “fracking” for oil and gas production for about 50 years. The trust fund money is earmarked for the acquisition of public land and for recreation projects.

Grand Rapids has tapped the trust fund nine different times for a total of $2.8 million.

“It seems inconsistent at best to be against oil and gas development in your community but then go ask for a grant funded by oil and gas development elsewhere,” said John Griffin, executive director of the Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan.

Heartwell’s office didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

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See also:

False Fears About Fracking

Without Fracking, Oil Prices Would Be At Record High

Experts: Earthquakes, Water Usage Not Concerns With Fracking in Michigan

Fracking Concerns Overblown; Risks Exist With All Energy Extraction

Lighting Water on Fire? Gas In Water Supplies Existed Long Before Fracking


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