Obama says he'll want $5 billion to clean up Great Lakes
Democrat Barack Obama says he'll want $5 billion to clean up the Great Lakes if he's elected president.
The campaign will spell out its plans today (Tuesday), after it made a general commitment last week at the Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Milwaukee.
Media reports say Obama will ask Congress to approve the $5 billion over a 10-year period.
To pay for it the Democrat would scale back the federal tax breaks oil and gas companies now receive.
Obama also pledges a zero-tolerance policy for invasive species which arrive on freighters from overseas and kill native plants and fish by gobbling up their food.
Obama also vows to create a Great Lakes czar to handle water management issues and coordinate various clean-up projects like sewage plant upgrades, wetland restoration and the removals of toxic chemicals.
Republican John McCain has also supported a Great Lakes clean-up plan, but he refuses to commit to a dollar amount.
At the urging of President Bush, a task force came up with a $20 billion plan a few years ago which Congress has pretty much ignored.
Meanwhile, McCain's camp accuses Obama of excess spending, saying the $5 billion would go above and beyond what the original clean-up strategy called for.