Monday, June 21, 2010

Environmental protection takes 72 percent budget hit in eight years. Who's going to be blamed when we can't adequately respond to a BP-style crisis?

The chart accompanying this Detroit News story illustrates exactly how drastically we've cut funding for environmental protection in Michigan during the last decade. The budget for these agencies has declined from $153 million in 2002 to $42 million proposed for 2010. That's a 72 percent cut.

If your household income was $60,000 in 2002 and you received the same cut, you'd be making  just shy of $17, 000 today.
We'll hear a lot about low taxes and limited government this election season. But given the choice, do Michiganders really want to see even more cuts to programs like deer check stations?  Monitoring of pollution flowing into the Great Lakes? Forest fire fighting personnel? Keeping state campgrounds open? Cleaning up contaminated industrial sites?

And when some BP-style disaster strikes and Michigan's environmental agencies do not have the resources to respond adequately, who's going to be blamed? 


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