Diane S. Katz is an adjunct scholar for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, formerly serving as director of science, environment and technology policy from 2002 to 2008. Prior to joining the Center, Katz served for nine years as a member of The Detroit News editorial board, specializing in science and the environment, telecommunications and technology, and the auto industry. Her work has won numerous awards, including top honors from the Michigan Press Association in 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Proposals to Further Regulate Michigan’s Electricity Market: An Assessment

More than a dozen bills are pending in the Michigan Legislature to expand regulation of the electricity industry and to impose new environmental requirements on energy production and sales. As a group, these legislative proposals assume the necessity of government intervention in the production and distribution of energy. This report details the drawbacks for consumers and the economy of substituting political forces for market forces in electricity service. … more

The Opportunities and Limitations of Biomonitoring

Remarkable advances in analytical chemistry now make it possible to measure minute levels of both natural and synthetic compounds in human tissue and body fluids. This “biomonitoring” allows researchers to determine more precisely than ever the degree to which individuals have been exposed to specific chemicals in the environment, and how exposures change over time. Consequently, federal and state officials increasingly regard biomonitoring as a potential new underpinning of environmental and public health regulations. … more

Assessing Stricter Mercury Controls in Michigan

On April 17, 2006, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm directed the Department of Environmental Quality to draft a rule under the state’s Clean Air Act to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants by 90 percent. The governor ordered the reductions to occur in two phases. The first phase is supposed to entail the reduction schedule established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year. The second phase is supposed to exceed the federal requirements by reducing emissions 90 percent by the year 2015. … more

Assessing the Case for Cable Franchise Reform

Advances in technology now make it possible for both cable firms and telecommunications companies to provide voice, data and video services to most homes and businesses. This constitutes a dramatic change from the days of cable dominance in the video market, and that of the “Baby Bells” in telephone service. What hasn’t changed, however, is the franchise regime that has long limited access to the local market and thus inhibited competition. In this paper, Diane S. Katz examines the effects of this obsolete regulation on consumers and the economy, as well as the myriad benefits of reform. … more

A Telecommunications Policy Primer

A guide to understanding telecommunications law and regulation in Michigan and the United States. … more

Crossed Lines: Regulatory Missteps in Telecom Policy

Violation of property rights is the defining feature of current telecom policy. … more

Michigan's Farmland Preservation Program: An Assessment

Michigan’s principal land preservation program has failed to achieve its goals. … more

The Clean Michigan Initiative: An Assessment

An Examination of the Goals, Results and Fiscal Consequences of Michigan's Most Ambitious Environmental Bond Program … more