Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Senate confirms Michigan environmental maverick (a real one, not the fake kind) Lana Pollack to International Joint Commission

The U.S. Senate today confirmed former Michigan Environmental Council President Lana Pollack to the International Joint Commission. Pollack, my boss for three years, is a great addition to the agency, which is designed to facilitate cooperation, resource protection, resolution of disputes and treaty enforcement over boundary waters and land borders between the two countries.

There will be no better advocate for the Great Lakes than Lana, a tireless, fierce, smart and forceful woman who has already ingrained a lasting legacy on environmental protection in Michigan. But, like many brilliant minds, she can never locate her keys or reading glasses. I hope they have someone at IJC to help her with that.

Lana will do what she thinks is right. Always. The last IJC commissioner from Michigan, Dennis Schornack, was fired when he did the right thing http://bit.ly/94t4S4 Schornack, a lifelong Republican from Williamston, was appointed by, then dumped by, the George W. Bush Administration after he ordered a couple in Washington State to remove a structure they had built illegally in a 10-foot-wide "clear boundary vista" maintained at the 5,000-mile-long border with Canada. Right wing groups took up the cause as a case of jackbooted government regulators run amok, and Bush officials ordered Schornack to back down. He didn't. So much for securing our borders.

Pollack also will sooner get fired then back down from doing the right thing -- both for border security and for the "resource protection" mandate in the IJC job description that is so vital to keeping our Great Lakes great. She is a former Michigan state senator and served as MEC president for 12 years through the end of 2008. Prior to her tenure at MEC, Pollack was elected three times to the Michigan Legislature, serving as a state senator from 1983–1994.

To learn more about the International Joint Commission, visit www.ijc.org.


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