When a special interest group backs bad legislation, it’s almost par for the course that the group will try to doctor its proposal with seemingly innocuous rhetoric.
But deplorable legislation now before the Michigan House of Representatives is so one-sided and anti-environmental that attempts by the State Chamber of Commerce to cloak it in good government language are simply not credible.
The legislation in question creates two committees that skew the process of protecting Michigan’s environment. One establishes a committee dominated by industry with veto power over new environmental standards. Another creates a panel giving industries seeking to weaken proposed environmental permits another bite of the apple.
Speaking of the first bill, the Chamber denies “that industry gets to write the rules and control the process.” This is disingenuous. The argument against the bill is that industry gets to veto rules and control the process.
These bills are so biased against the environment that the Chamber defends one by saying that if the environmental standards committee proves problematic, “the governor can use his constitutional reorganization authority to eliminate the committee and stop a rule.” It’s doubtful the Chamber would defend a bill creating an environmental standards committee biased against industry on the grounds that the governor could eliminate it someday if problems result. A new environmental committee should not be an experiment in bias, but a well-conceived effort to protect the air, water and other natural resources.
The proposed legislation is an attempt by special interests to choke off needed environmental standards on the grounds they are bad for business. In fact, well-crafted environmental standards are good for the economy, reducing health and cleanup costs and keeping polluters from gaining an unfair advantage over businesses that are good environmental stewards.
To contact your representative regarding the bills, click here.
To read more about the bills, click here.