How green is your governor? Environmental group tracking Rick Snyder's progress in Lansing
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
In his first two weeks as governor, Rick Snyder's administration made three moves that earned him points for being "green" and one that dented his street cred with environmentalists.
The Ann Arbor-based Michigan League of Conservation Voters is tracking the actions of the Republican governor — as well as his administration and the statewide departments he directs — as decisions are made on issues impacting the environment.
Throughout his campaign, Snyder promoted himself as a conservationist. Now the LVC is watching to see whether his promises translate into actions with a new "How Green Is Your Governor? tracker tool on its website.
Snyder pleased environmentalists early on when he named former state Sen. Patty Birkholz the new director of Michigan Office of Great Lakes. Snyder scored again last week when new Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the administration would continue a lawsuit aimed at stopping the invasion of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.
The Snyder administration also surprised many by taking legal action to put the brakes on construction of a new coal plant in Holland until a full study of alternative options is done.
According to the LCV, Snyder appears to be "pretty serious" about his commitment to Michigan's natural resources and environment — with just one main concern.
Snyder lost points for naming Judge Brian Zahra to the Michigan Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated by Justice Maura Corrigan.
"Zahra was the lone dissenter in a 2008 ruling that required industrial farms to report the contents and location of the ongoing disposal of toxic animal waste products," the LCV wrote on its website. "His position, which would hide this important information from effected Michigan citizens, is a discouraging precedent for his upcoming tenure on the state's highest court."
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529.