Michigan’s government is failing its citizens yet again. After claiming that literacy wasn’t part of the right to education and letting Flint children drink down lead-filled water for years, the state is now selling off millions of gallons of clean water for a pittance.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has authorized Nestlé to pull 100 million gallons of clean, pure groundwater from the state for $200 a year. Michigan is claiming this is a jobs-friendly move because Nestlé will be adding 20 more jobs to its payroll. However, a simple investigation of the facts has uncovered the real reason the state is practically giving away so many of its natural resources.
Nestlé’s head spokesperson in Michigan is Deb Muchmore, who is married to the former chief of staff of the current governor, Rick Snyder. This cozy cooperation between state and private interests is clearly a violation of the people’s right to be governed fairly, but Gov. Snyder doesn’t see it that way. Activists are encouraging Michigan residents to contact the Office of the Governor at 517-373-3400 and share their disappointment.
SumOfUs, a noted defender of community water rights, is leading the campaign against Nestlé’s interference. The non-profit has changed Canadian law and pushed corporate interests out of Hood River, Oregon. They are currently gathering signatures from concerned citizens before taking their next step to push back against this egregious violation of the rights of Michigan residents. They want more attention paid to the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and a more reasonable payment by Nestlé for taking Michigan’s natural resources.