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E-M:/ Michigan House Committee Opposes Kyoto and EPA SIP Call

Enviro-Mich message from wrightd@voyager.net (David Wright)

        This morning the House Committee on Consevation and Outdoor
Recreation voted out of committee two resolutions, one opposing the Kyoto
agreement and the other opposing the EPA NOx SIP Call and supporting the
Governor's Plan.  The only representative to vote against both of these
resolutions was Rep. Liz Brater of Ann Arbor.

        Speaking in opposition to the NOx SIP Call was Dennis Drake, Chief
of the Air Quality Division.  The Michigan Manufacturers Association also
spoke in opposition to the NOx SIP Call.  I spoke in support of the NOx SIP
Call.  The Governor's Plan lets electric utilities off the hook.  And the
exorbitant costs claimed by the opponents of the EPA plan are approximately
$1 per month on your utility bill.  The committee voted in support of the
resolution opposing the EPA plan.

        When the time came to discuss the resolution opposing the Kyoto
agreement, Dennis Drake had left the room.  The DEQ representative
indicated that she was not prepared to speak and deferred to the President
of the Michigan Climate Change Coalition who also happens to be a
representative of the American Petroleum Institute.  Following the API was
the Farm Bureau representative whom also spoke in opposition to the Kyoto
agreement.  Attending the committee meeting prepared to speak against this
resolution were Steven Johns-Boehme of the Michigan Ecumenical Consultation
on Christianity and Ecology, Vicki Levengood of the National Environmental
Trust/Michigan, and Dave Dempsey with the Michigan Environmental Council.
Rep. DeVuyst, chair of the committee, did not let any of these individuals
testify.  The committee voted in support of the resolution opposing the
Kyoto agreement.

        In between the votes on these two resolutions the committee debated
and voted out a bill that would create a special deer license plate.  Funds
gathered from this plate will be used to clean up dead deer and other
roadkill from the roadways.

        As this was only the second or third committee meeting I have
attended, I was shocked to see that the DEQ would defer to a representative
of the API when speaking to a resolution.  And I continue to be amazed at
the lack of input from the public.  However, that is not surprising
considering that the individuals in attendance that represent public
interest organizations were not even given the chance to speak to their
concerns regarding the anti-Kyoto resolution.

David Wright
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Dr., Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539* FAX: (517) 487-9541

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