Indiana lawmaker questions wisdom of closing waterways to stop Asian carp

July 7, 2011

AP Staff

(Flickr/Kate Gardiner)
Asian carp are an invasive species that threaten the environmental and economic health of the Great Lakes.

As the region struggles to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan, a leading candidate for Indiana governor has joined calls for a review of how closing Chicago-area waterways would impact industry in Northwest Indiana.

Indiana U.S. Rep. Mike Pence is seeking the 2012 Republican nomination for governor. He says closing the Chicago-area shipping canal would endanger thousands of jobs in Northwest Indiana and calls Asian carp a "serious but manageable threat to the Great Lakes region."

Rep. Pence and Democratic Indiana U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky filed a bill Wednesday that would mandate an impact study by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Times of Munster reports that BP, ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel are among area industries that use the canal system that links Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.