Governor Gretchen Whitmer has made new appointments to Michigan’s Water Use Advisory Council.

The Water Use Advisory Council advises the Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Natural Resources, and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on the State’s Water Use Program, which includes the following major elements: Great Lakes Compact; water withdrawal; and water use conflict. The appointments are as follows;

- Michael Gallagher, of Richland, the president of the Michigan Lakes and Streams Association, was appointed to succeed William Scott Brown to represent Statewide Riparian Landowners Association for a term expiring Feb. 26, 2023.

- David Hamilton, of Haslett, the senior policy director for The Nature Conservancy, was appointed to represent Statewide Conservation Organizations for a term expiring Feb. 26, 2023.

- James Nicholas, of Mason, owner and operator of Nicholas-h2o, was appointed to represent professional hydrologists and hydrogeologists, as defined in section 32706c, with hydrogeology field experience for a term expiring Feb. 26, 2023

- Frank Ettawageshik, of Harbor Springs, the executive director of the United Tribes of Michigan, was reappointed to represent tribes for a term expiring Feb. 26, 2023

- Patrick Staskiewiczs, of Grand Haven, the director of public utilities with the Ottawa County Road Commission, was reappointed to represent municipal water suppliers for a term expiring Feb. 26, 2023.

These appointments are not subject to advice and consent of the Senate.

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Judge Upholds law that Created the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority

Line 5 Legal Challenge Update

Michigan Court of Claims Judge, Stephen Borrello, has upheld the state law that created the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority (Public Act 359). Although he ruled that the 6-year terms for members of the authority established by the law was unconstitutional, he maintained that the appointments themselves — "and all the trappins of decision-making associated therewith" remain valid. The Michigan constitution states “Terms of office of any board or commission... shall not exceed four years except as otherwise authorized in this constitution.” Judge Borrello ruled that members can only serve for four years, the maximum allowed under the Michigan Constitution.

"The unconstitutional length of the term of office does not affect the authority of otherwise validly appointed board members," Borrello said. In fashioning a remedy, the court must "remain mindful of the Legislature’s intent and strike only those provisions of the statute that are unenforceable," Borrello said in ruling that authority members appointed to six years can only serve four.

Attorney General Dana Nessel is expected to announce an opinion on the law's constitutionality in the coming weeks.

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House Approves 60 Proposed MNRTF Projects

The State House has approved a list of 60+ Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Projects reccomended for approval by the Trust Fund Board. They will now go to the State Senate. 

2018 Development Project Reccomendations

Total Development Grant Recommendation Amount: $7,393,400
30 Local Developments - $6,853,400
4 State Developments - $540,000

2018 Acquisition Project Reccomendations

Total Acquisition Grant Recommendation Amount: $18,650,600
22 Local Acquisitions - $12,006,000
8 State Acquisitions - $6,644,600


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MOGA Partner Association Meetings and Events


(8) COPAS Happy Hour and Networking at the Cambria Suites, Traverse City from 3:30-6:00p.m.

(14) NMC API Dinner at the Kalkaska VFW Hall featuring guest Speaker, CORE Energy's Bob Mannes, where the evenings topic of conversation and presentation will be all about CO2 Flooding. Admission is $25 per person, and includes a home made meal provided by the Women’s Auxiliary.  Cash or credit cards accepted. Casual Dress

6pm-7pm will be cocktails and hors d’oeuvres

7pm-8:30p will be dinner and guest speaker

Please RSVP to Jan Bell at no later Wednesday the 13th by 5pm to reserve your seat.

(22) AAPL will be hosting a ‘Due Diligence Seminar’ at the Park Place Hotel (Torch Room) in Traverse City, Michigan, on Friday, March 22, 2019!  The one-day event will run from 8:45 A.M. to 3 P.M. and the cost is $300 for AAPL members and $425 for non-members.  AAPL members that attendee will receive 5 continuing education credits. Click here to register.


(19) NMC API Spring shoot at the Northland Sportsman club in Gaylord, Michigan on May 10th, 2019.  Entry is limited to the first 75 people. Teams may consist of up to 5 people.  If you don’t have a team and want to shoot, we will place you with a Team. Contact Collette Hoeft at to register. 

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DEQ Restructuring Update

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will be Restructured into the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced a second Executive Order (EO 2019-6) intended to restructure the Department of Environmental Quality into the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). Under EO 2019-6, The Environmental Rules Board and the Environmental Permit Review Panels/ Commissions that were put in place by the legislature last year would be kept intact under this proposed restructure. New offices created within the restructured department include; Climate and Energy, Clean Water Public Advocate, and Environmental Justice Public Advocate. 

Executive Order 2019-6 Full Text can be found here. 

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An update on Line 5

On her first full day in office, Governor Whitmer requested an opinion from Attorney General Dana Nessel on the constitutionality of the law that created the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority and the on the Authority's approval of the Agreement. 

According the the letter submitted to the AG's office, The Governor is questioning whether the new law violates the Michigan Constitution in several ways, including;

  • Whether the amended law violates a statute that requires the main focus of an act to be reflected in the title.
  • Whether the six-year appointments of corridor authority board members violate a constitutional requirement limiting appointments to four-year terms.
  • Whether the amended law violates parts of the Michigan Constitution related to tunnel construction and operation.
  • Whether the law constitutes a special or local act when it should have been created under a general act.
  • Whether the new authority possesses more power than it is entitled to by law or the Constitution. 
  • Whether the authority and its actions are invalid if the authority is found to violate state law or the state Constitution.

In the process of forming an opinion, Nessel asked for briefs or legal memos from interested parties on the questions Whitmer raised.

Fast forward to today, March 1st,  Mlive has released an article on the legal briefs submitted thus far to the AG's office. MLive filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the responses. Nessel’s office responded with seven responses from five groups or individuals. 

Although the groups disagree on several aspects, it seems that they reach a concensus that the provision for the six-year terms for members of the new Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority is unconstitutional. The Michigan constitution states “Terms of office of any board or commission... shall not exceed four years except as otherwise authorized in this constitution.”
Public Act 359 put members of the newly-created authority in place for six years, a direct contradiction to the four the constitution allows.

In response, Jim Holcomb, executive vice president of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, said that group’s brief also pointed out the six-year term could be a violation of the constitution. But, he said, “it doesn’t mean the statute is invalid.”He argued based on previous cases and attorney general opinions, that part of the statute was severable, meaning the rest of the law could stand even if that one portion were found to be unconstitutional.

Attorney General Dana Nessel is expected to consider these briefs as she works to form an opinion on the law's constitionality. Stay tuned for more updates and visit Mlive to see the full article and briefs

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Thank You for helping Make Legislative Day 2019 a Success!



Thank you!

With your help, we were able to get a positive touch with all 148 legislative offices on one of the busiest days in Lansing. Working together to educate new and returning leaders on our industry, we've cultivated a positive platform for continued discussions with our elected leaders. 

By the Numbers:

  • 60+ MOGA Members and Partner Association Legislative Day Attendees.
  • 134 Meetings with Legislative Offices.
  • Over 50 Legislative offices, Department leaders, and heads of partner associations attended the legislative reception.

Members sat down with House and Senate leadership on both sides of the aisle and shared the positive impact of our industry with committee chairs and committee members on nearly a dozen committees in the legislature. The 14 remaining legislative offices that we were not able to meet with still received packets of information, showcasing the positive impact of Michigan’s oil and gas industry on the state and in their communities. This ensured that all 45 new State Representatives, 29 new State Senators, returning legislators, and legislative staffers were provided the benefits of our home state energy production, before joining us for the cocktail reception at the Radisson.

We encourage you to stay connected to your elected officials throughout the year by attending local coffee hours or in-district events in your hometown. These are great opportunities to continue to build real relationships with your elected officials.

Please don't forget to fill out and send in your legislative meeting report forms or simply send us any notes or questions you received during the day.This is important way for us to keep our notes organized and pool our collaborative efforts. If you'd like additional report forms, please email me at and I will send more. 

Thank you for supporting a Great Industry in a Great State!

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Michigan's Oil and Gas Industry Legislative Education Day 2019

Michigan Oil and Gas Industry's Legislative Education Day 2019

Haven't Registered Yet? Register Online Now!

Wednesday February 20, 2019. 

Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol
111 N Grand Ave, Lansing, MI 48933

Legislative Day Overview Webinar 

This webinar will help attendees get prepped and ready to succeed as an advocate for our industry.

Many of the materials that show the positive impact of Michigan's oil and gas industry may be found below


Legislative Day Agenda

Michigan Oil and Gas Industry One-Pager

New Legislator Bios

Michigan's Oil and Gas Industry: Economic Contribution Study and Powerpoint

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund

Michigan State Parks Fact Sheet

MGRRE- Ensuring Future Research, Education, and Economic Development Through the Preservation of Geological Data. Click Here for Recent Examples

Seismic Surveys and Identifying Michigan's Freshwater Resources


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Gov. Whitmer Signs Executive Order Announcing Dept. Of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced the restructuring of the Department of Environmental Quality into the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) through a series of Executive Orders. New offices created within the restructured department include; Climate and Energy, Clean Water Public Advocate, and Environmental Justice Public Advocate.

Read more
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Oil and Gas Series in the Gaylord Herald Times Wins Award in Enterprise Reporting

Last week, The Gaylord Herald Times won Michigan's Newspaper of the Year, in its class, at the Michigan Press Association's annual convention in Grand Rapids. Among the numerous staff members that received awards, Reporter Arielle Breen was awarded first-place in the News Enterprise Reporting category for her five part series on Michigan’s oil and gas industry in Otsego County.The series, "After The Boom", released in the fall of 2017, looked at the rich history and bright future of oil and natural gas in Otsego County. 

The full series is archived on the Gaylord Herald Times website

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Michigan Petroleum Directory Now Available!