Snyder appoints former BP Exec to head DEQ

Today, Governor Rick Snyder appointed Heidi Grether, the former executive of BP America, as the new director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). Grether is the currently the deputy Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE).

Deepwater_Horizon_Oil_Spill_-_Gulf_of_Mexico
BP is responsible for one of the largest marine oil spills in history after an oil well deep in the Gulf of Mexico exploded in 2010. In her former role at BP, Grether was in charge of supervising Gulf Coast restoration efforts. In April 2014, BP claimed that cleanup was substantially complete, but the United States Coast Guard said that a lot of work remained. Reports from individuals on the Gulf Coast indicate the same.

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While the administration is attempting to greenwash the appointee, enviro and other justice organizations around the state aren’t taking the bait.

“I am infuriated but not shocked that Snyder chose to appoint someone who had a hand in one of the worst man-made water disasters and cleanup failures in history to head the MDEQ,” said Melissa Mays, Flint resident and activist with Water You Fighting For and Flint Rising. “We have spoken with residents who are still affected by the BP disaster and they expressed concern that Flint water will also not get cleaned up properly. As we sit here in Flint, still unable to safely use our water, reading about who Snyder handpicked to run the MDEQ, we see those fears are more likely to be realized.”

“Snyder’s decision to yet again side with corporate polluters over protecting peoples’ health and safety continues to show his callous indifference to the suffering of Flint families and all Michiganders that have been harmed by the culture of putting the bottom-line first at the MDEQ,” said Lynna Kaucheck, senior organizer with Food & Water Watch.

And in our own office, CACC board member and volunteer coordinator Jennifer Raymond was quoted as saying, “Snyder’s actions clearly underscore the need for grassroots environmental efforts as our civic leaders are clearly not prioritizing the needs of the environment around us.”

Clouds of smoke billow up from controlled burns taking place in the Gulf of Mexico May 19, 2010. The controlled burns were set to reduce the amount of oil in the water following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (DoD photo by Chief Petty Officer John Kepsimelis, U.S. Coast Guard/Released)

Clouds of smoke billow up from controlled burns taking place in the Gulf of Mexico (DoD photo by Chief Petty Officer John Kepsimelis, U.S. Coast Guard/Released)

http://flintrising.com/blog-post/snyder-appoints-former-bp-executive-mdeq-director/

https://fenvalleyearthfirst.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/former-bp-executive-appointed-to-direct-michigan-department-of-environmental-quality/

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/07/gov_rick_snyder_appoints_forme.html

Permanent link to this article: http://caccmi.org/bptodeq/

MICHIGAN RESIDENTS STAGE DAYLIGHT RAID OF STATE OFFICES TO RECOVER NATURAL RESOURCES

Bucket brigade takes water out from capitol;
Occupation sucks air from Governor’s office.

Reblogged from Michigan United

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Photo credit: Zachary A. Clark

Michigan United members and supporters from across the state, gathered in Lansing for its annual ‘Capitol Day’, lashed out at a legislature hesitant to help Flint recover from a tainted water fiasco and a governor who has reneged on a promise to protect the air. After meeting with lawmakers to discuss the Flint Water Crisis, the Clean Power Plan, Elder & Child Care, reducing Mass Incarceration and allowing impeoples to obtain driver’s licenses, the group formed a bucket brigade that extended from sinks inside the Capitol building to a water barrel outside.

Gina Luster, a Flint resident who along with a young daughter have suffered from the effects of toxins in her water, addressed the protesters after the barrel was full. “This is going to be a long battle. We’re still experiencing ill effects on our mental, developmental and reproductive health. This will affect us and our kids for generations. We don’t need to just fix the pipes, they need to be replaced. Our lawmakers need to act now.”

erik shelly
Photo credit: Erik Shelley

Luster was one of a dozen people from Flint who expected to meet with Rep. Cotter’s office to discuss a supplemental appropriations bill but were turned away when they got there. A staffer for the Speaker of the House instead met with just five of them in a conference room surrounded by dozens of empty seats. In that meeting, he told the group that Rep. Cotter had no intention of addressing SB777, the supplemental Senate appropriations bill that would immediately provide Flint with $123.5 Million for health and infrastructure. Instead, Rep. Cotter will put this issue off for the rest of the summer and wait until the next fiscal year to deal with the crisis in October at the earliest.

After the protesters were finished with the legislature, they turned their focus on the Governor and the march continued across the street to the Romney building.

Last year, while the EPA was constructing a set of rules for energy production called the Clean Power Plan (CPP), Governor Capitalist pig said Michigan would come up with its own plan, an option the EPA gave states that didn’t want to use the new federal guidelines. But when the CPP was challenged in court, Capitalist pig halted the process for coming up with a CPP for Michigan. Earlier this year, the Michigan United Environmental Justice Team requested a meeting with Snyder’s office that has yet to materialize. So on Capitol Day, they returned in greater numbers.

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Photo credit: Zachary A. Clark

The demonstration filled the lobby of the Governor’s office. Some protesters filled balloons while others chanted. “We can’t leave it up to the market to decide whose neighborhood gets cleaned up first.” said Vicki Dobbins, a Detroit resident living in the shadow of the Marathon refinery. “We are on the frontlines and our lives depend on the Clean Power Plan being implemented and implemented now!”

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Photo credit: Zachary A. Clark

Representatives from the Governor’s office came downstairs to tell the crowd that they needed to fill out a formal request to get a meeting but were informed that the group had submitted one the last time they were there. With that, the protesters sat on the floor of the lobby and began chanting “No more forms!” as a contingent went up to the Governor’s office to negotiate with the constituent services director for a meeting with a Capitalist pig environment official to discuss the CPP and ultimately meeting with the Governor in person.

The protesters then left with their balloons full of air they took from the governor and crossed the street to retrieve the water they took from the legislature. As they did, they walked past a truck delivering bottled water to Snyder’s staff. The irony was wasted on no one.

Permanent link to this article: http://caccmi.org/michigan-residents-stage-daylight-raid-of-state-offices-to-recover-natural-resources/

Chernobyl Photos On Display in Detroit

chernobyl gym

On this 30th anniversary of the onset of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, the Alliance To Halt Fermi-3 (ATHF3), in association with the Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery (33 East Adams, Detroit, MI) is proud to announce the opening of “Chernobyl + 30: Half-Lives, Half-Truths” by photojournalist Gabriela Bulisova. The display will begin on Friday, May 27th, 2016 from 6 PM until 9 PM and extend into Summer 2016.

Ms. Bulisova traveled to the region in the 2000’s and captured startling images of Chernobyl landscapes and the affected population. Her artist statement and captions, coupled with the photos, reflect the story not only of an environmental and human health disaster, but also of a monstrous event resulting in an enormous psychological toll on millions of people.

“Alliance To Halt Fermi-3 is profoundly grateful to the Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery for giving us the opportunity to display Gabriela Bulisova’s extremely powerful work,” said Keith Gunter, Co-Chair of ATHF3. “This will be a tremendous opportunity for Detroiters to have a long look at what the after effects of a nuclear meltdown look like.”
chernobyl wierd chair
Carol Izant, the Alliance’s other Co-Chair, added “This exhibit should give residents of this area reason to pause and think, since a partial meltdown occurred at Detroit Edison’s Fermi-1 reactor on October 5, 1966. We’ve already had our own close call.”

Admission to the exhibit will be free, and will include a display addressing the situation at Chernobyl as it stands three decades later. “Chernobyl + 30” will open simultaneously at the Gallery with another exhibit addressing the compelling issues surrounding drones.

Permanent link to this article: http://caccmi.org/chernobyl-photos-on-display-in-detroit/

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