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E-M:/ Big lies from utilities

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

The Booth Newspaper report that Dave Dempsey
circulated is worth reading as excellent examples
of the 'big lie' technique from electric utilities...


Consumers Energy says of the Bush/EPA plan:

"There absolutely no intention of rolling back

This is about the most egregious, bald-face lie I
have ever heard from a utility company.  It is a lie
that is designed to grease the skids for the
Bush/Cheney/Whitman energy policy.

Last month, Whitman was quoted in congressional testimony
as saying that the administration wanted to eliminate....

"EPA's Section 126 program, NOx SIP Call, regional haze program, New Source 
Review program, and its mercury regulation initiative."

All of this would be in favor of an unspecified 3 pollutant
bill to be developed for which there is presently no agreement from
the electric utilities, coal industry and the petroleum industry
on any kind of tough emission reduction goals.

Bush/Whitman/Cheney would cut the heart out of the Clean Air Act...  Gone 
would be requirements that one state not allow its
emissions to interfer with attainment of health standards in another
state, the requirements for states to plan for emission reductions
to meet ambient public health standards, the requirement to control regional
haze, the requirement to ensure that new and modified air pollution
sources install state of the art technology and show that they will
not cause air quality standard violations and control technology
standards for toxics.

Eliminating new source review for new and modified facilities means
that the public will not be notified and will be deprived of an opportunity 
to participate in a permit process for new and modified 
industrial  facilities in their communities.

To say, like Consumers Energy does, that this does not constitute
a "rolling back of standards" is the worse sort of public deception
that can be perpetrated with public statements.

Even worse is every other industrial sector is essentially after
the same deal as the utility campaign contributors to the Bush
Campaign is getting.   The bottom line is that industry in this
country is wanting to rush through a highly damaging revision and/or 
rollback to new source review permitting and public participation 
requirements for large air dischargers that have been in place since 1977.

The utilities, the petroleum refineries, the paper plants, et al,
want to be able to nearly rebuild their plants without air permits, 
sometimes significantly increasing their annual emissions, but then
not show they have used state of the art emission controls, not
show that they are not jeopardizing air quality and not tell the public
about it through a permit process.

The utilities want to be able to overhaul their plants, replacing
boiler tubes, turbines and other equipment, then claim this is just
a routine replacement, and then be permitted to have significant increases
in annual emissions from increased utilization of their facilities or
from increases in the potential to emit, all
without getting a permit under requirements that have been in place
since 1977.

Electric utility plants would use this same exemption to start burning
tires and other wastes, all without informing the community and/or getting
air quality permits for the modifications.

And then there is the quote from the disingenuous Mr. Harding....who says
he supports tough controls on utility plants.   This is the same Russ
Harding who formed an advisory committee consisting solely of industry
representatives to assist him in the fight against EPA's call for
nitrogen oxide controls in the Eastern United States.   This is the
same Russ Harding who fought these controls using the entire force of
Michigan government (all really on behalf of Michigan's utilities) to
take the issue all of the way up to the Supreme Court (where he lost).

With this kind of record, any insistence by Harding that he supports
tough controls on power plants is simply not to be believed.   The
only good thing to report is that Harding has not gotten a high
appointment in the Bush Administration....we'll just have to keep
a close eye on Mr. Harding here in Michigan.

/Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permits/Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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