The U.S. Supreme Court again killed Michigan AG Mike Cox’s action to close the canal between the Illinois and Chicago Rivers in hopes of stopping the Asian carp from infiltrating Lake Michigan. This time, it’s dead dead. [SCOTUSblog].
UPDATE: Here’s the AP story:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to get involved in a dispute over how to prevent Asian carp from making their way into the Great Lakes.
The justices turned down a new request from Michigan on Monday to consider ordering permanent closure of Chicago-area shipping locks to prevent the invasive fish from threatening the Great Lakes.
The court had declined previously to order the locks closed on an emergency basis while it considered whether to hear the case. Michigan has led the legal fight to close the locks, arguing that the ravenous carp, which weighs up to 100 pounds (45 kilograms), could devastate the lakes’ $7 billion fishing industry by starving out competitors such as salmon and walleye.
UPDATE II: Again from the AP, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is requesting a study of the potential effects of Asian carp on the lakes. Sounds like a good idea for six months ago:
A New York senator said a full federal study is needed to determine how big a bite Asian carp would take from the regional economy if they invade the Great Lakes.
Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer said he will request a comprehensive study in a letter he plans to send Monday to the Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife Service.
Two species of Asian carp are threatening to enter Lake Michigan from Chicago-area waterways.
State officials and scientists say if the carp spread across the lakes, they could threaten the $7 billion fishing industry by starving out competing species.
Schumer says a broader analysis is needed that would consider potential damage to other industries such as tourism and shipping — and costs to governments from monitoring and control programs.
"No studies have been conducted to assess the true economic impacts of allowing Asian carp to establish a breeding population in the Great Lakes," Schumer said in the letter, which was provided to The Associated Press. "The lack of this crucial information makes it impossible to weigh the options before us and determine the best course of action to fight the spread of Asian carp."
An economic analysis released this month by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce found that closing the shipping locks in Chicago waterways would cost the area economy about $4.7 billion over two decades.
That report envisions a far greater economic ripple than a February study commissioned by the state of Michigan.
Transportation specialist John Taylor of Wayne State University in Detroit and James Roach, a consultant, said Illinois was overstating the economic damage closing the locks could cause. They estimated it would boost the costs of transporting and hauling cargo by about $70 million annually — a fraction of Chicago’s $521 billion economy.
The U.S. Supreme Court twice has rejected Michigan’s request to order the locks closed.