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Re: E-M:/ Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy Discontinue Energy Efficiency

Enviro-Mich message from "david zaber" <dzaber@gateway.net>

Dear Outside the Beltway People,

Help!  I was trapped today in a hearing at the Dirkson Senate Office
Building in D.C..  The hearing was on regional approaches to haze control
(primarily out west, but the Virginia DEQ Director Woodley was clear that
Virginia would do nothing to stop haze and opposed all efforts to control
it. Virginia is almost worse then Michigan when it comes to the
environment), and mercury pollution.

Testifying at the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, Private
Property and Nuclear Safety (no kidding) was Michigan's own Tim Eder,
Director of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Natural Resource
Center in Ann Arbor.  Tim did a stand-up job at the hearing which was a
total sham.  The only senators that bothered to show up were James Inhofe
(R-OK) an anti-environmental nutcase, Jeff Sessions (R-AL) an
anti-environmental basket case, and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) an environmental
hero who stayed for five minutes and left due to the upcoming bombing of
Kosovo.  Well, to make a long story short, the committee hearing room was
packed with folks from concerned groups like the Chemical Manufacturers
Association  and other neat organizations who of course have the public's
health as their top priority.  Funny thing was, Cruella Deville was also
there, dripping with gold (since mercury is often used to amalgamate gold
during prospecting in the tropics, I knew why she was there) and she was
making snide comments to her industrial hack friend from some polluter's
organization.  I was really worried about the area's Dalmation
population!!!  All of the folks who read this should take a week to come
and be sickened by the disgusting antics of the corporate hacks who control
congress.  After all, why should those of us inside the beltway get all the

Well, again, to say the least, the hearing was a sham.  A
purchased-professor (my label for the do-nothing fools who take polluter
money at our institutions of higher learning) testified that there is no
reason to worry about mercury in fish (tell that to the Japanese citizens
living in Minimata Bay) and the industrial money-grubbers were celebrating
afterwords in the hall.  I chimed in at one clique of "Browns" that yes
they indeed won and I would love to invite them over for a meal of Lake
Trout, Walleye and Bass.  They all sort of looked at me with expressions of
stupidity and were dumbfounded that some sandal-wearing guy would have the
nerve to interrupt their celebratory self-congratulations.  

Folks, you should all be aware that D.C. is poison and the political
climate here is ultra-anti-environment (two hyphens!). The tactics of the
Beltway environmental groups have been such failures that there is really
no reason for politicians to care in the least about these issues.  Trickle
down economics didn't work, neither will trickle-down environmentalism.

Luckily, Tim Eder did manage to make the case for mercury controls on coal
fired power plants and other sources.  We should all congratulate him for a
job well done, in the face of truly insurmountable odds.  I mentioned to
Tim that he should submit his testimony in crayon since Sen.Inhofe is truly
an intellectual midget. Who was it that said "no one ever lost money
underestimating the intellegence of the Republican majority"?

Funny, despite the presence of mercury-based fish consumption advisories
for ALL of Michigan's inland lakes, neither of Michigan's Senators, Abraham
or Levin, showed up.  I think I saw Sen. Abraham gorging on boiled mutton
at a buffet, so that explains that, but Levin's absence is unexcusable,
even if he is not on the SubCommittee.  Either way, it looks like mercury
pollution will continue to get worse in the Great Lakes region, unless the
citizens stand up and tell the elected officials to clean it up.

The Clean Air Network (I'll email their email address asap) is doing the
hard grassroots organizing to stop the ongoing pollution of our air, water,
wildlife and food by mercury.  I hope that the good folks in Michigan, and
yes, even the bad folks, will take immediate action and contact Senators
Levin and Abraham (write it in crayon for Abraham) and tell them to support
Sen. Leahy's efforts to reduce discharges of mercury by 95%.  After all, we
can all live without a bioaccumulative metal that has no known beneficial
function in living organisms being spread throughout the biosphere.

Good luck.

p.s.  I did manage to escape from the Senate hearing room in time to make
it home to see on the news that the all the investigations of Clinton have
cost taxpayers a total of $69 million.  Thats almost enough for two meals
for Michigan's junior senator!!!

David John Zaber
904 Glaizewood Court
Takoma Park, MD 20912

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