Great Lakes Business Network Says Healthy Environment Essential for Michigan Businesses
(February 12, 2018) — More than 25 Michigan businesses under the banner of the Great Lakes Business Network sent a letter to Gov. Rick Snyder on Friday asking him to veto legislation creating an industry-packed panel that gives industry the power to skirt environmental protections. Senate Bills 652, 653 and 654 – informally dubbed the “Fox Guarding the Henhouse Act,” – would create a panel packed with representatives of regulated industries with the power to amend or veto proposed environmental regulations.
The full letter can be viewed here: http://glbusinessnetwork.com/2018/02/vetodeqbills/
“These bills are fundamentally reckless because they ask regulated industries to set their own rules when it comes to protecting the health of Michigan families and our own natural resources from environmental harm and pollution,” says the coalition in the letter, signed by Michigan business owners including Larry Bell of Bell’s Brewery, Chris Shepler of Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, and Elliott Rader of The Gluten Free Bar in Grand Rapids.
The bill package, introduced by State Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba), creates a governor-appointed panel with representatives from solid waste, manufacturing, oil and gas, agriculture, electric utilities, local government, with two slots for an environmental group and a land conservancy, creating an automatic majority of regulated industries with veto power over proposed environmental protection rules. The legislation passed the Michigan Senate on January 25 and was referred to the Michigan House Committee on Natural Resources.
“A healthy environment is essential for the operation of strong businesses in Michigan,” the businesses write in the letter. “If these bills pass, special interests would be sitting on panels deciding the fate of DEQ rules – the requirements that are intended to prevent degradations in the first place.”
The Great Lakes Business Network was formed in 2017 as a network of business leaders committed to protecting the Great Lakes from environmental degradation. Learn more atwww.glbusinessnetwork.com.