From the desk of State Representative Vanessa Guerra:
On Tuesday, May 22nd I voted in opposition to a package of bills that would create three new boards to oversee the decisions of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. I am the first to admit that our DEQ has not done enough to protect our natural resources over the last few years. However, I do not believe that creating an 11-member panel that maintains 6 members from corporations and only 5 members who do not represent their own bottom line will work to ensure that Michigan’s land and lakes are preserved. I do not believe that corporations are inherently evil, but I do believe their main goal is to make a profit rather than ensure we are passing environmental rules aimed at preventing short and long term damage to our natural resources.
My Democratic colleagues introduced amendments that I believe would have created added protections to this new review committee these include: an amendment to prohibit lobbyists from serving as voting members on this committee, an amendment to prevent those corporations who have violated federal or state environmental laws within the last five years from serving on the committee, an amendment to prevent someone who is not a resident of this state from serving on the committee and finally an amendment to tie-bar this legislation to four other bills that restore citizen oversight commissions at the DEQ for air quality, water quality, and oil and gas. All were defeated.
I have included an article below that goes into further detail about these bills and some of the reasons why they were supported by House Republicans.
For more on Vanessa Guerra visit: http://www.housedems.com/guerra