Enbridge Pipeline Skater Runs For US Senate, Takes On Fossil Fuels Industry

Chris Wahmhoff runs for MI senate, takes on fossil fuels industry.

Chris Wahmhoff, best known for his outspoken views on the fossil fuels industry, is running for US Senate in Michigan. You won’t believe how he plans to win. Photo courtesy of Chris Wahmhoff via MLive.

When I wrote the article ‘Fighting Fossil Fuels In Michigan’ for Addicting Info, I had no idea that Chris Wahmhoff would be announcing his bid for the US Senate just a few months later. You may recall that this summer, the environmental activist spent his birthday riding his skateboard through am Enbridge pipeline. Wahmhoff, who is still facing charges relating to his excursion into an Enbridge pipeline, has thrown his hat into the ring, in Michigan’s Senate race. If that’s not enough to draw your interest, just wait until you hear about his approach to campaigning.

 Chris Wahmhoff’s campaign will focus on getting money out of politics.

“My campaign intends to donate all of the money we collect to charity organizations that are doing good work,”

Wahmhoff told me in a phone interview on January 10th.

“The primary goal is to give as much to charity as my opponents spend on their political campaigns.”

It sounds like a crazy idea, but it’s one that he and his supporters believe can work.

One of the main messages of his campaign is that “we need to get the money out of politics.” He has a unique plan for how his campaign will operate. While he wasn’t ready to disclose everything, he told me that it will be interesting, fun and positive. He also mentioned Stephen Colbert’s publicist, but said more details on that will have to wait.

 Wahmhoff’s voting district includes many citizens who were impacted by the Enbridge oil spill, in Kalamazoo.

Wahmhoff wants to Michigan become “a leader in empowering small business.” He would also like Michigan to become a state which takes the lead when it comes to providing “innovative technologies for renewable energy.”

The Kalamazoo oil spill, the worst inland oil spill in history, directly affected many people in Wahmhoff’s voting district. He believes that the career politicians who currently represent the area aren’t really looking out for the people who voted for them.

The fossil fuel industry has targeted the state of Michigan in recent years. Hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands have been auctioned off for drilling, under the Snyder administration. The Great Lakes water supply is also being exploited. Many see the fracking industry as a major threat to the lakes, as well as to the unique environmental systems that surround them. In 2013, a single fracking well in Michigan used more than 21 million gallons of water, setting the national record.

Wahmhoff believes that the voters in his district are concerned about protecting the air, land and water from another disaster, like the one they experienced two years ago. While many politicians seem afraid to stand up to the fossil fuel industry, Wahmhoff obviously isn’t one of them.

 The support for Wahmhoff’s candidacy may be a signal that many Michigan voters are ready for a change.

Wahmhoff had planned to announce his Senate bid on January 6, following a scheduled court appearance. The snow storm and massive cold front that seized Michigan during the first week of the new year, however, caused cancellations across the state. Even without a formal announcement, word of his candidacy somehow got around. He says he’s already receiving an outpouring of support for his campaign. “I had to recruit volunteers the first day, just to help me keep up with the e-mails,” he said.

The support for Wahmhoff’s candidacy may be a signal that many Michigan voters are ready for a change. There’s a large segment of the population in this part of the state that has been directly impacted by the Enbridge oil spill. These voters want the fossil fuel industry, and the dark money that comes with that industry, out of the state’s government. If this group of voters is looking for a candidate who will speak up for them, Wahmhoff seems more than ready to do just that.

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