Less than 15 months until Michigan elects a new governor, and it’s still not clear what the candidates are for, as opposed to what they’re against.

And it’s all too easy for candidates to escape from talking environmental specifics during an entire campaign.

That can’t be allowed to happen in 2018.  Not after Flint and so much else that has further shredded Michigan’s reputation as an environmental leader among the states.

The governor of Michigan has a responsibility like no other governor. She or he governs the state with the most at stake in the health of the Great Lakes. Further, she or he has an awesome responsibility to assure that future generations will enjoy all the values and beauties of the Great Lakes.

Michigan is the only state that borders four of the five Great Lakes. Michigan has 3288  miles of Great Lakes shoreline. Michigan has 40,000 mi.² of water surface within its borders. When you add that water surface to land, Michigan grows from 22nd largest state to 11th. These are some of the reasons why Michigan is called the Great Lakes State.

And here are just a few questions that a good journalist should put to all of the candidates for governor:

Where will you find state money, and how much, to restore the Great Lakes instead of relying almost entirely on the federal government and its money?

How specifically will you prevent another Flint from happening?

Do you oppose or support the extraction of Michigan water by multinational corporations for private profit while they pay the state $200 a year in fees?

Will you support legal requirements that farmers refrain from applying fertilizer and animal waste when it will simply run off into surface waters, helping create harmful algal blooms like those on Lake Erie?

Will you exercise the state’s lawful authority under the public trust doctrine to eject Enbridge corporation and the use of its oil and gas pipeline from the Straits of Mackinac?

What will you do to protect Michigan’s wetlands, particularly coastal wetlands which are vital habitat and water quality filters?

Do you support or oppose putting factory fish farms in Great Lakes waters under the guise of aquaculture?

What sacrifices or efforts will you ask the citizens of Michigan to make to protect the Great Lakes?