This article originally appeared in the April 29, 2002 Gongwer News Service. Copyright 2002, Gongwer News Service. All rights reserved.

Environmental Plans

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy stayed neutral in the coming gubernatorial contest, its Science, Environmental and Technology Initiative Director Diane Katz slamming the environmental proposals of candidates from both major parties.

Ms. Katz said all of the candidates she had examined appeared to be pushing for additional governmental regulation when, she argued, programs of incentives were more effective in improving the environment.

U.S. Rep. David Bonior she said was pushing for more federal control over the Great Lakes and was seeking more government control of development in the state in the effort to reduce sprawl. She argued such growth policies in other states had actually generated more sprawl by pushing development further beyond the no growth areas.

Of Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, Ms. Katz said her legal actions against gas station owners who raised prices shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks were "hardly a hallmark of good environmental stewardship." She said the stations' actions were designed to reduce demand and ensure there was not a shortage later and were not aimed at gouging customers.

Former Governor James Blanchard she said had shown his record of increasing regulation in his previous term as governor.

But Ms. Katz said Lieut. Governor Dick Posthumus' proposed "Marshall Plan" for the environment also would mean additional government regulation and bureaucracy. "That's a direct contradiction to what we learned the last three decades of command and control," she said, arguing that the environment would be cleaner if Congress in the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act had moved toward incentives rather than legal standards to drive emission control equipment.

Ms. Katz said she had not examined the proposals of others running for governor, including Sen. John Schwarz (R-Battle Creek) and Troy businessman Ed Hamilton.

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