WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17:  Gov. Rick Snyder, (R-MI), listens to members comments during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, about the Flint, Michigan water crisis, on Capitol Hill March 17, 2016 in Washington, DC. The committee is examining how lead ended up in the public drinking water in Flint, Michigan.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder allowed a Republican-controlled legislature to create “polluter panels,” which gave trade representatives veto authority over the state’s environmental regulators.

On Feb. 6, Michigan’s Republican-led state Home of Representatives voted to do one thing the state legislature hasn’t performed since 1977: overturn an govt order given by a sitting governor. Throughout the approaching week, the state Senate, which can be in Republican fingers, will maintain hearings and probably a vote to hitch them.

At difficulty is Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Govt Order 2019 -03, which, amongst different issues, abolishes “polluter panels” of trade representatives who’ve been given veto authority over the state’s environmental regulators. In different phrases, the query is about who ought to have the final word energy to set the state’s environmental laws: consultants appointed by a governor who has been elected by the state’s voters, or company pursuits who’re beholden solely to their shareholders?

The panels have been created by the Republican legislature and signed into legislation by former Gov. Rick Snyder in 2018 over the objection of his personal prime environmental regulator, C. Heidi Grether, a former BP govt. On Feb. 6, Grether issued a letter supporting Whitmer’s transfer to abolish the panels.

Underneath the brand new legislation, one of many panels, known as the Environmental Guidelines Assessment Committee, is to have a voting membership made up virtually fully of trade representatives, together with proxies from the stable waste, oil and fuel, and public utility industries. State regulators, then again, don’t get a single vote on the panel, which has the authority to overrule any and all new environmental laws proposed by the state.

One other panel was given the facility to listen to allow appeals, doubtlessly making the method even simpler for polluters.

Whitmer signed her govt order on Feb. four, and a mere two days later the state Home voted to overrule it by a straight 58-51 party-line vote.

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