Environment Picture

MEC overheard in the news

“Well, the bottom line is that the legislature is not going to do anything. So, it’s going to be up to the people to say we want cleaner energy in the future and we want more of our energy dollars being spent on Michigan workers and Michigan products.”
—MEC Policy Director James Clift on Michigan Radio’s May 22 Environment Report talking about the proposed renewable energy ballot initiative to require 25 percent renewable electricity generation by 2025

“It is disheartening to learn that a Congressman whose state is the center of the world’s greatest freshwater ecosystem would advocate putting the Great Lakes at risk for a trickle of oil that would impact neither gas prices nor the worldwide market.”
—MEC Communications Director Hugh McDiarmid, Jr. in a May 12 Detroit Free Press story responding to comments made by Congressman Pete Hoekstra

“A statewide survey released in March by the Michigan Environmental Council found that 87 percent of Michigan residents think the state’s roads are in fair or poor condition. Sixty-four percent of those polled said they would pay more to fix and improve the state’s transportation infrastructure.”
—Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association spring newsletter

“We all use natural gas. This is a product that is part of our everyday lives. We…. should figure out the best way to deal with it.”
—James Clift in a May 25 Detroit News story

“It was perceived by us that they were going to get rid of all our neighborhoods, they were going to cut off all our services, and it was put out there that they were going to turn off our water. When you don’t have transparency, people tend to create their own perceptions.”
—MEC Community Outreach Director Sandra Turner-Handy talking about early problems with the Detroit Works planning process in an April 30 American Prospect story

“They’ve really taken the heart and soul out of the law.”
—MEC Director of Conservation and Emerging Issues Brad Garmon in a June 8 Associated Press story on a proposed law that would gut sand dune protection in Michigan

“Our state’s leaders must stop dithering and approve the regional transit authority bills before the Michigan legislature. An RTA matters for the entire state.”
 —OpEd authored by MEC Deputy Policy Director Tim Fischer and Troy Chamber of Commerce President Michele Hodges in the May 17 issue of Bridge Magazine

“This is a project that needed much more rigorous review. It’s got tunnels a few hundred feet from Lake Superior, a giant tailings facility that clearly will require a lot of care—perhaps into perpetuity—which is clearly outside the bounds of this law.”
 —Brad Garmon speaking about the Copperwood Mine near Ironwood on Wisconsin Public Radio May 10

“Michigan’s Great Lakes are polluted with mercury. It is going into fish and affecting people’s health as they eat contaminated fish. Easing back on mercury regulations now would be foolish.”
—Hugh McDiarmid, Jr. in a May 14 Capital News Service story

“We believe that it’s a real dangerous precedent to say that we establish this new zone between the lake’s edge and the (regulatory water mark) … to say the state can’t regulate beach grooming in that area. If you establish this new regulatory zone you can take away the rights of the public. What’s the next thing … they are going to take away?”
—James Clift in a May 16 Associated Press story on a proposed law allowing destruction of emergent wetlands by property owners grooming beaches
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