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Re: E-M:/ Deja vu: Env. bonds for reelection boost -Reply



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Enviro-Mich message from Tim Flynn <tflynn@freeway.net>
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While spending money on the programs Tracy outlines below is a good 
thing.   The real question for the citizens of Michigan is: Will this 
bond, and other scrap to be thrown our way during the election cycle, 
undue the damage Engler has done to Michigan's natural capital-native 
ecological communities, clean air, clean water.  Damage done IMHO in the 
name of quick returns to friendly donors and blindness to our 
responsiblilty to our grandchildren.   My guess is that we're talk'in 
less than 1 % return on the destruction.

Way too little and much to late.   In just one example how much will the 
Nordhouse Dune payola cost us, and our children, in the future.   A half 
billion will likely not even cover this "real" cost of the Engler Admin.

Tim Flynn

On 1/26/98 6:53 PM Tracy Mehan wrote:

>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Enviro-Mich message from Tracy Mehan <MehanG@mail.state.mi.us>
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>I am pleased that Anne grants that "...it can be expected that there
>is in fact some benefit to the environment from this idea."  In fact,
>the half a billion dollars earmarked for environmental bond projects
>will yield many benefits.  Looking at those areas with which I am
>most familiar, nonpoint source pollution and toxic sediment
>remediation, there is much to recommend the proposal to all of you. 
>$50 million is aimed at reducing nonpoint source pollution, or
>runoff, which readily conceded by most observers to be the single
>biggest impairment of water quality today. EPA only allocates 1,7% of
>its budget for this important area.  On sediments, the $25 million
>earmarked is a hard-number, bottom-up figure designed to move
>cleanups in Areas of Concern(AOCs) with Remedial Action Plans(RAPs)
>on the Great Lakes and elsewhere in those situations where there is
>no liable or potentially responsible party to do the cleanup. 
>Polluter pays is still the rule.  I urge your serious consideration
>of the proposal.  Thanks.
>
>>>> <anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org>
>-
>1/25/98
>11:02
>PM
>>>>
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Enviro-Mich
>message
>from
>anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>Proposed Bond: What do you think?
>
>The Detroit News today reports a plan that will be announced in the
>Gov's
>state o' the state (SOS) regarding a $500 million bond for a handful
>of
>environmental programs.  Since the ever stealthy press manipulators
>in the
>Governor's office assured that this announcement would come out over
>the
>weekend to minimize a chance for immediate substantive reactions and
>public
>discussion (give an exclusive story, tell reporters not to ask for
>comments
>until Saturday a.m., etc.), I would like to urge the folks on
>Enviro-Mich to
>offer up their reactions and responses, and open a dialogue on this
>issue.
>Below are some of my initial thoughts:
>
>Clearly the Governor's handlers know that he is vulnerable on the
>environment
>in this upcoming election year, and have sorted through the bag of
>tricks left
>from previous administrations to try to build a false front to last
>at least
>until November.  As details come out it will be easier to judge the
>independent merits of this proposal, and it can be expected that
>there is in
>fact some benefit to the environment from this idea.
>
>However, this proposal is more than a dollar short, is many years too
>late,
>and comes on the back of an overall environmental policy structure
>that has
>been eviscerated by the policies of this would-be election year
>environmental
>saviour.  It is important for Michigan citizens to recognize that the
>seven
>years of the Engler Administration to date have witnessed a
>relentless
>and disturbingly effective campaign to reduce the reality of
>environmental
>protection in Michigan, and that the success of this effort has
>resulted in
>collatoral damage to the public's expectations for actually
>performing that
>protective role.  Thus, while it will clearly be the goal of this
>administration that we all do so, we cannot consider such a proposal
>anywhere
>near being on par with the Quality of Life Bond Issue in the 1980's.
>
>This proposal, at first glance a warmed over, smaller and weaker
>version of
>what was passed by the voters during the Blanchard administration, is
>an
>astounding back pedalling job in an administration that for several
>years has
>done its best to steal every other funding source it could find to
>fund the
>brownfields clean ups.  In effect, this bond proposal is a long
>overdue
>admission of the Engler Administration's total failure to find a
>funding
>source for brownfields clean up after the Governor fought very hard
>to take
>responsible parties off the hook for the clean up of their own
>contaminated
>sites. The Engler administration gave industry what it wanted by
>gutting the
>Polluter Pay law a few years ago, and now, betting on short term
>memory loss
>of the public, is foisting the price tag onto the unsuspecting
>taxpayers,
>while packaging it as an innovative strategy.
>
>This proposal will beg to be compared positively with the Quality of
>Life Bond
>Issue, but let us not forget how much the landscape has been changed
>by the
>actions of this Governor during the past 10 years.  Substantive
>public input
>is gone from the agency that will handle this fund -- this Governor
>in fact
>went to great lengths to wrench the environmental clean up programs
>and other
>regulatory programs out of an integrated agency and shield them from
>public
>input.  In addition, with public shut out and the Big Brother
>attitude of the
>administration that assures that talented, committed staff cannot
>speak up
>about failures to enforce the law, it is virtually impossible to tell
>whether
>the application of the funds will be done as a result of political
>whim or
>independent, objective assessment of both need and alternate sources
>of
>funding.
>
>It is always good to see that environmental issues are so compelling
>that even
>the most anti-environmental Governor in Michigan's history feels it
>necessary
>to throw a bone in this direction. But Governor Engler must be judged
>on his
>record as a whole, and not just whether his polling numbers are of
>concern,
>and the political operatives are in patch up mode.
>
>AW
>
>
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>ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
>and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
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>
>Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
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Tim Flynn     tflynn@freeway.net       Harbor Springs, MI 49740


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