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E-M:/ Sagady's State of the State message

Enviro-Mich message from Patrick Diehl <patmec@voyager.net>

Alex Sagady:

No one dislikes John Engler more than I do, for a myriad of reasons.  I
think, however, that you do a significant disservice to not only the
environmental community but to the larger community of folks involved with
public policy formation when you resort to juvenile name-calling.  I am
embarrassed to know someone who begins his e-mail postings with "fat-boy
draft-dodging guv."  Impressive display of professionalism, Alex.

Pat Diehl

At 01:26 PM 1/29/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com
>As we hear of an election year "conversion" of John Engler on 
>the environmental issue, let us not forget the hostile/anti-environment
>posture of our fat-boy draft dodging guv from his speech as 
>a "darling" of the Washington DC based Competitive Enterprise
>Institute.....   Read this to know the true John Engler, which I'm reposting
>for the benefit of those who have joined the list in the last year....
>George Weeks, political columnist for the Detroit News, has been
>trying to "rehabilitate" Engler's environmental record.   I'm convinced
>that Engler wants to be President; but he can't do it without having
>some kind of raproachment on the environmental issue.    Given Engler's
>record, Michigan enviros should deny him this or otherwise potentially
face an
>Engler White House in 2000 or 2004.... not a good way to face the 
>new millenia!!
>For the younger folks out there, Warren T Brookes is a deceased former
>Detroit News opinion columnist who had a direct line to anti-environmental
>PR from all of the Washington trade associations and who relentlessly
>ridiculed and 
>criticized all manner of environmental protection and conservation efforts
>his columns.
>                        Warren T. Brookes Fellowship Memorial Dinner
>                             Remarks by Governor John Engler
>                                   Tuesday, November 19,1996
>   As you may know, Joe Olson, before he took the post of Insurance
>Commissioner in my administration, was Chair of the Board of Directors
>at the Mackinac Center -- a Michigan-based think tank that we call the CEI 
>of the midwest. 
>   Actually, if Warren Brookes were alive today, I am certain he would be
>at the degree to which idea-generating organizations like CEI, the Cato
>and the Heritage Foundation are leading the debate in Washington. 
>   Certainly, he would be proud -- extremely proud -- of the scholars who
>so ably filled the Warren Brookes   Fellowship in Environmental Journalism. 
>Beginning with Ron Bailey, and continuing with Michael Fumento, Michelle  
>Malkin and James Bovard, these Warren Brookes fellows have represented 
>the epitome of excellent scholarship,  thoughtful analysis and outstanding
>   Indeed, every time I pick up a newspaper like the Wall Street Journal and 
>see a column by a scholar such as Jim   Bovard, I think of Warren and know 
>that he lives on -- not just through the CEI fellows but through all of us. 
>   We share his belief in the power of free markets. We share his
skepticism of 
>bureaucratic science -- BS as Warren used to call it. And we share his 
>lifelong commitment to the principle that people make better decisions -- 
>for their businesses,  for their families and for the world they live in -- 
>better decisions than government ever could. 
>   Warren Brookes was an honest broker in the marketplace of ideas 
>and information. And while we miss his voice twice-a-week in the paper, 
>we certainly continue to benefit every day from the power of his ideas and 
>the diversity of his intellect. 
>   I wish that Warren would have been alive to see Republicans take 
>control of Congress. What I wish even more would have been to see 
>the fun Warren would have had skewering the Clinton administration - 
>on issues ranging from his pre-election land grab in Utah to the 
>225,000 pages of rules that have been added to the federal register 
>over the past   four years. 
>   Considering the withering criticism Warren had for a previous 
>administration, we can only imagine what he would have said about 
>the current president. Recall this example of what Warren said about the 
>1990 debate over the Clean Air Act:
>        ". . . in the current environmental debate on Capitol Hill, the
>hole in the White House and  legislative heads may be larger and more 
>permanent than the one that shows up every fall in the ozone layer        
>over the Antarctic -- and more dangerous to our economic and ecological
>   Just imagine what Warren might have written about the Clinton-Gore 
>mantra -- "protect Medicare, Medicaid, education  and the environment." 
>Or what he would have said about a vice president who has a portrait of 
>Rachel Carson hanging in his office. 
>   Remember, this is the same vice president, who is his 1992 book, 
>Earth in the Balance, said that the automobile was a mortal threat to our 
>national security. In addition, I bet that Warren would have been the first 
>to point out that the  president's so-called bridge to the 21st century is 
>a toll bridge. 
>   In a world where too many people get their news from Oprah Winfrey 
>and Geraldo Rivera, we need more journalists  like Warren Brooks. And 
>fortunately, more journalists -- like John Stossel, last year's speaker at
>dinner -- are rising to the challenge. 
>   Just yesterday, for example, two op-eds in the Wall Street Journal, 
>one by Julian Simon, the other by David Rothbard and Craig Rucker, 
>debunked for the the umpteenth time -- the myths about a population 
>explosion and fear of famine currently being propagated at the U.N. 
>Food Summit in Rome. 
>   We learn from their able scholarship that people worldwide are better 
>fed living longer and healthier lives. More  importantly, we learned that 
>continuously improving farming methods are more than capable of feeding 
>a growing world  population. 
>   As the father of triplet daughters, I had been concemed that I had 
>unwittingly contributed to an impending worldwide  disaster. I was 
>especially concerned because my little Maggie does not like to 
>share her food. Let me tell -- no one is   going to take apple juice away 
>from Maggie. 
>   Seriously, there is no doubt that when it comes to environmental 
>joumalism, those who follow in Warren's footsteps are  outnumbered 
>by those who don't. But we have an ally on our side that usually wins 
>in the end -- the truth. And I have   developed a method of getting back
> at the fearmongers, especially liberal fearmongers 
>   I'll say to them, "Did you know that one in four liberals is at risk of 
>developing cancer and that one in five liberals will die from it?" 
>Of course, I don't tell them that conservatives -- indeed all Americans 
>-- face the same risk of cancer. 
>   I should note, however, that Warren wrote about much more than 
>environmental issues. Often, he wrote about a subject dear to my hear 
>-- taxes, and the economic benefits of cutting them. For example, he 
>wrote in his column in June 1991: 
>        "One of the genius strokes of the U.S. Constitution is that it 
>provides the one thing most governmental  systems lack, namely 
>competition within government itself. The federalist system still allows 
>states to pursue varying tax, fiscal and regulatory policies that strongly 
>influence their economic activity. This means states  automatically 
>become 'laboratories' for economic policy. Unfortunately, liberal think 
>tanks have all but  ignored this fertile field for research -- and with 
>good reason: There is a virtually unblemished record of
>strong economic performance in low-tax states, and vice-versa. 
>   As usual, Warren was right. And Michigan's success story proves it. 
>   Just a few months after I became Michigan's governor, I invited 
>Warren, Tom Bray and several other friends over for dinner. At the 
>time, Michigan's economy was mired in recession. Unemployment 
>was approaching ten percent. 
>   The state budget was nearly $2 billion in the red and the deficit 
>was growing. At the same time, taxes -- especially property taxes 
>-- were skyrocketing and welfare was becoming a way of life for 
>more and more families. A tent city of  protestor had camped out 
>on the lawn of the State Capitol. 
>   Twenty-one tax cuts later, Michigan is a far different place. Twenty-one 
>tax cuts have put more than $6.5 billion back into the wallets and 
>purses of Michigan taxpayers. I'm talking about the biggest property 
>tax cut in history, cutting income taxes, raising exemptions, eliminating 
>inheritance taxes and most taxes on pensions. We're even phasing 
>out Michigan's capital gains tax. 
>   The result has been an economic turnaround that is the envy of 
>America. Our unemployment rate has been below five  percent 
>every month this year. In fact, we are headed for the lowest 
>unemployment rate since 1969. 
>   That's not the only good news. Since 1991, Michigan employers 
>have created more than 500,000 new jobs. Over the same period, 
>personal income in Michigan has climbed more than 25 percent -- 
>the fastest growth rate in the nation. 
>   Since 1994, more than 100,000 families have left the welfare 
>rolls and achieved independence. Michigan's budget has been 
>balanced five years in a row and our state's Rainy Day Fund 
>is at an historic high of more than $1 billion. 
>   And I should note that we have accomplished all of this, not 
>inspired by Washington, but in spite of Washington . . . 
>   . . . in spite of the biggest tax increase in history 
>   . . . in spite of two vetoes of welfare reform 
>   . . . and in spite of an EPA that has increasingly overstepped 
>its bounds and usurped the lawmaking responsibilities of Congress 
>and stepped on the state's ability to implement environmental reform. 
>   Indeed, I am reminded of a story that NYU law professor 
>David Schoenbrod tells in his book, Power Without Responsibility, 
>about the battles between Franklin Roosevelt and the Supreme 
>Court concerning the limits of federal  power. 
>   Schoenbrod -- who is also a scholar at the Manhattan and Cato 
>Institutes -- cites a case in which the Supreme Court struck down 
>several provisions of FDR's National Industrial Recovery Act -- 
>legislation creating a federal agency to  write and enforce 
>its own laws dictating wages, prices and production schedules. 
>At the time, Justice Louis Brandies told  a top Roosevelt aide: 
>        "This is the end of this business of centralization, and I want 
>you to go back and tell the president that we are not going to let 
>this government centralize everything. It's come to an end. As for 
>your young men, you call them together and tell them to get out 
>of Washington -- tell them to go home to the states. That is where  
>they must do their work." 
>   My friends, we have been doing the work in Michigan. As governor 
>of a state with more than 3,000 miles of coastline on the nation's 
>most precious fresh water resources -- the Great Lakes -- I know 
>that the quality of our natural resources directly affect the lives an 
>livelihoods of all our citizens. 
>   I believe strongly that a healthy environment and a healthy economy 
>are mutually sustainable. You cannot have one without the other. On
> a microeconomic level, I also believe that good environmental policy 
>is good business. However,  the unfortunate reality id that government 
>policies designed to protect or to clean up the environment that do not  
>recognize this basic principle of mutual sustainability are usually 
>   For example, consider the federal Superfund program. Rather 
>than directing limited resources to achieve the most cost effective 
>reduction in health risk to the public, Superfund has spawned endless 
>lawsuits and legal wrangling, much-delayed and ever more costly 
>cleanups, and contaminated sites that remain unused, undeveloped 
>and a threat to  public health. Indeed, I am told that as much as 80 
>percent of the funding for this program goes to pay lawyers. 
>Maybe  we ought to rename Superfund the "Superlawyer Fund." 
>   I am especially concerned about the program's explicit failure 
>to rehabilitate urban "brownfield" sites and to make them available 
>for redevelopment. In a scientific survey of Michigan's environmental; 
>problems. The inability to reuse such urban sites in favor of suburban 
>and rural "Greenfield" was identified as our state's top concern. 
>   The current CERCLA liability scheme of strict, joint and several 
>and retroactive liability is part of the problem. While the system 
>is labeled "polluter's pay," in reality it is "deep pockets pay." As 
>a result, redevelopment efforts are stymied as cleanup costs skyrocket 
>and liability disputes escalate. 
>   Until last year, Michigan's cleanup rules had mirrored the 
>federal CERCLA liability scheme and the lack of results, especially 
>in our inner cities, was all too evident. With tlie support of a wide 
>geographical range of city mayors, in June 1995, I signed legislation 
>that replaced strict liability for owners and operators with a liability 
>standard based on causation. 
>   This approach retains the concept that the polluters should pay by 
>still holding the parties that caused the problem liable for cleaning it up. 
>We also enacted a blanket exemption from liability for existing contaminated 
>culpable purchasers and occupants of contaminated property. 
>   In addition, we have strengthened and expanded liability protections 
>available to lenders who foreclose on contaminated property. I strongly 
>encourage identical liability protections be included in Superfund in 
>each of theses areas. Such reforms are vital to state and city efforts 
>to encourage reuse of contaminated property. 
>   Further encouragement can be provided by cleanup standards based 
>on land use. Recent reforms in Michigan allow us to  use containment
> remedies and land use controls in lieu of performing costly remediations.
> Combined with a single risk  level and specific soil and groundwater 
>cleanup criteria, we can develop remedial action plans for sites of 
>environmental  contamination far more quickly than Records of
> Decision can be developed under Superfund. 
>   Our new cleanup standards allow us to use our limited resources to get 
>the best protection for our citizens. Indeed, we  estimate that these
>will reduce the cost of cleaning a site by up to 50 percent while still 
>providing fully protective  remedies. 
>   The results so far have been impressive. A study of our reforms that was 
>released earlier this year showed an increase in   investment by the private 
>sector of more than $220 million and the creation of more than 2,300 jobs 
>in redevelopment  projects. 
>   In contract, on the federal level, under the current Superfund law we
>the worst of all possible worlds: Burdensome cleanup rules and 
>considerable duplication between the federal and state government 
>serve to waste money, delay cleanup projects and deny accountability 
>to the public. 
>   Superfund is only one example of a federal environmental policy 
>that is counterproductive, costly, and cumbersome to the states. I wish 
>I had time to discuss all my concerns with management of the EPA, but 
>let me just briefly highlight a few. 
>   First, the Clinton administration has proposed stricter clean air 
>standards that threaten to put virtually every major metropolitan area 
>in Michigan and America into noncompliance. The result would be 
>severe restrictions on economic growth in those areas, especially 
>the very same inner cities that desperately need growth and new jobs. 
>   Second, the EPA has launched an all-out assault on states that have 
>enacted environmental audit laws that encourage companies to 
>perform such audits and promptly report and correct violations. In fact, 
>the EPA has punished such states by interfering in the state delegation 
>of federal programs like the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and 
>other  environmental statutes. 
>   Heavyhanded, autocratic, and unelected bureaucrats at the EPA 
>are telling the states that we are guilty until proven innocent. Even 
>worse, we most likely face similar punishments for implementing 
>emissions trading programs and wetlands mitigation banks. To 
>the EPA, no good deed by the states goes unpunished. 
>   Third, bowing to pressure from environmental extremists, 
>the EPA recently took unprecedented steps to stall a solution 
>mining project in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, delaying the project 
>for at least 18 months and costing at least 100 jobs. 
>   The reversal of EPA policy came as a shock to the mining 
>compacy, the workers and state officials, for the EPA had been 
>working closely with them for two years and had previously 
>approved the project. 
>   The irony is that an idle copper mine threatens nearby 
>Lake Superior. An active solution mine would permanently 
>protect the lake. The end result of the EPA's meddling? Jobs 
>lost and a Great Lake threatened. 
>   Fourth, a recently leaked memo from the EPA reveals a secret 
>Clinton plan to raise the federal gas tax by 50 cents,  increase CAFE 
>standards and tighten auto emission restrictions -- all without the approval 
>of Congress. I would call this secret plan a disaster for Michigan -- 
>the nation's number one auto-producing state! 
>   Using an obscure section of legislation enacted in the early 1960's, 
>the author of this memo claims the president has the authority to
>enact such measures based on national security concerns. That tells me 
>we need more CEI  fellows standing careful watch over an administration 
>that accepts environmental extremism as gospel and rejects common 
>sense cost-benefit analysis as heresy. 
>   That's why they punished the president for his 1.7 million acre land 
>grab in Utah by defeating that state's only Democratic Congressman, 
>Bill Orton. That's why they re-elected a Republican Congress for the 
>first time in 70 years. That's why states from Maine to Montana 
>rejected extremist ballot measures. 
>   In Michigan, for example, by a two to one margin, voters rejected a 
>measure sponsored by animal rights activists that would have virtually 
>eliminated bear hunting. 
>   In our democracy, that is our saving grace -- the vote of the people. 
>And that is the best reflection of Warren Brookes'  legacy -- a voting 
>public that is better informed on issues from the environment to the
>   The voters don't make the right choice every time, but with the wise
> balance of power devised by our founding fathers, I   believe that 
>America is back on track to developing an environmental policy 
>based on sound science, relative risk, and free market principles. 
>   We won't get there overnight, but we will get there. That's our 
>promise to Warren Brookes and his legacy to us. 
>   Thank you very much. 
>                About CEI | Public Policy
>Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
>Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
>PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
>(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)
>ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
>and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
>Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
>majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info

Patrick Diehl
Associate Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Dr., Suite 2A
Lansing, Michigan 48912
phone:  517-487-9539
fax:    517-487-9541
e-mail: patmec@voyager.net

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"