Sen. Stabenow talks about craft brew economy

- Senator Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, delivered opening remarks during the Inaugural Great Lakes Hop & Barley Conference held in Grand Rapids on April 10.

The conference, which was hosted by the Michigan Brewers Guild, MSU Extension and MSU AgBio Research, featured sessions designed to help growers, processors and brewers learn how to better grow and market their products in Michigan. The craft brewing industry supports thousands of jobs and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to Michigan's economy each year.

Stabenow's 2014 Farm Bill strengthens support for local food systems and the production of crops like hops and barley. The farm bill also supports access to resources for research, marketing and pest and disease prevention.

Senator Stabenow also introduced a Senate resolution, along with Senator Peters, urging the ministration to oppose a Canadian proposal to build a permanent nuclear waste repository in the Great Lakes Basin. Ontario Power Generation has proposed to build a permanent repository for nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario. This close proximity to the lake could be disastrous if an accidental spill were ever to occur.

Over 40 million people in Canada and the United States get their drinking water from the Great Lakes and the highly toxic waste could take tens of thousands of years to decompose to safe levels.

"Canada's proposed nuclear waste dump on the shores of Lake Huron puts our Great Lakes at risk of radioactive contamination that could have devastating consequences for future generations," said Stabenow. "I have expressed my strong objections to the Canadian government directly, and today's resolution puts additional pressure on the Canadians to stop this plan," she added.

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