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E-M:/ Shutting Down Environmental Protection



Once upon a time former Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen was quoted as saying about the federal budget “a billion here, a billion there, and suddenly you’re talking about real money.” 


Maybe the reality in Michigan is that a billion this year, and two billion next year are such large numbers that they don’t appear to be real.  The never never world of the State Senate seems to be conjuring up mythical lands where there are no hardships if State Government shuts down.  Wake up -- its time to smell the coffee, and by the way that coffee and everything else we consume and depend on may not be safe because there are no cops on the beat to watch out for your interests.


At the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Environmental Quality yesterday morning that wake up call came through loud and clear.  Top management at the DEQ were unavailable to attend the hearing because they are in critical meetings to decide what parts of the department to shut down in the face of the continuing failure to resolve the real and growing budget disaster.  Take your pick: would you prefer having your water further contaminated, your toxic waste uncleaned up, your air quality even worse? 


My first pick -- stop issuing ANY new permits of any sort, and put any meager funding there is entirely into enforcement.  Quality of life is what drives investment -- and we can’t go back and undo the damage of much of the pollution in this state, we can’t give back health to people who were harmed, and clean ups never really restore natural rivers or lands entirely.


Actually, my first pick is to have see leadership emerge that actually comes up with real solutions to the tailspin John Engler started us on many years ago.  Let us hope that this crisis can build the backbone the people of this state need our leaders to have.





Anne M. Woiwode, State Director, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter  - 109 E. Grand River Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906

517-484-2372    fax 517-484-3108 -- anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org 

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter celebrating our 40th Anniversary on September 9, 2007

Visit us at http://michigan.sierraclub.org/index.shtml


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