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E-M:/ Retransmit Norhouse piece



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Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com
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Because of the massive malfunction of email delivery
on Enviro-Mich last week (before we changed servers)
I am retransmitting this important piece from the 
Sierra Club:

Subject: E-M:/ Nordhouse Settlement press release
To: enviro-mich@igc.org
X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Pro Version 3.0 (16)
X-Sender: sierrami@sojourn.com
 
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>For Immediate Release              Contact: Alison Horton or
>Tuesday, May 6, 1997                       Anne Woiwode
>                                                        517/484-2372
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>             Sierra Club Calls for Investigation:
>Gross Overvaluation in Michigan's Largest Takings Settlement
>                    Should Not be Ignored
>
>     LANSING -- Saying that, as long as there is a higher court to
>appeal to, no information is ever irrelevant, the Sierra Club today called
>for an investigation of the 1995 Nordhouse Dunes takings settlement with
>Miller Brothers Oil Company and other oil development interests.
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>     Although the Governor's office and the Attorney General's office
>shrugged off a newly public report on the value of the possible oil
>resources under Nordhouse Dunes in today's Detroit Free Press as
>irrelevant, taxpayers will perhaps be more concerned.
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>     In an article to be published Wednesday in the Michigan Sierra
>Club's quarterly publication, The Mackinac, the environmental
>organization calls for an independent investigation of Gov. Engler's
>abrupt settlement with the Miller Brothers and apparent failure to inform
>the Legislature as a whole of critical information during the ensuing
>weeks of lobbying for approval of the controversial settlement.  "The
>legislature was being asked to decide whether to appropriate funds for a
>settlement that carried a $90 million price tag in the end or to refuse such
>an overvalued settlement," commented Alison Horton, director of Sierra
>Club's Mackinac Chapter.  "And the door to a Supreme Court appeal was
>wide open.  The public deserves to know why that appeal wasn't made
>when the lower court ruled based on gross overvaluation."
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>     In a paper presented to a March, 1997 symposium of the Society
>of Professional Engineers in Dallas, Texas, experts in oil and gas
>valuation, who had analyzed the value of the mineral rights for the State,
>raise enormous questions about the outcome of the lawsuit.  Thomas
>Stauffer, John Gustavson and M.R. Silverman found an astronomical
>overvaluation of the mineral reserves based on flawed calculations and
>assumptions.  Their final report went to the State on September 23, 1995.
>On September 25, the Governor signed a settlement agreement with the
>principal party in the lawsuit, Miller Brothers, based on the gross
>overvaluation.
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>     "Today, out-of-control takings lawsuits are looming like a black
>cloud over Michigan.    The Minden Bog and the K&K Construction
>lawsuits are cases in point," according to Horton.  "The Nordhouse Dunes
>settlement has set the stage for taxpayer ripoffs and blatant disregard of
>environmental laws.  An investigation is long overdue."
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>     An advance copy of the Mackinac article, authored by Anne
>Woiwode, is attached (2 pages).  Thomas Stauffer's phone number in
>Washington, D.C., the Stauffer paper,  and extensive background
>information is available from the Sierra Club.
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>                     ## 30 ##
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