How green is your governor?

Dec 29, 2011

Rick Snyder was the first Republican running for governor to be endorsed by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (MLCV), a lobbying group that advocates for conservational and environmental laws and protection.

The MLCV has been tracking Governor Snyder’s position on environmental issues through the “How Green is your Governor” scorecard, an online evaluation that rates the administration’s environmental policy decision - green is good, red is bad, and yellow is neutral.

Michigan Radio's Zoe Clark spoke with Lisa Wozniak, Executive Director of the MLCV, about how Governor Sndyer measures up after his first year in office.

After endorsing their first Republican governor, the league decided to keep track of the administration’s environmental position. “On balance, he’s following through on some of the promises he’s made,” says Wozniak.

Notably, on December 1st Governor Snyder vetoed a bill that would have blocked state environmental regulations stricter than those at the federal level. “If we’re held to the federal law as it pertains to the Great Lakes, frankly we won’t be issuing the kinds of protections that we really need…and [Governor Snyder] knew that this was something he couldn’t let happen. So he issued his first veto, and we’re thrilled,” Wozniak says.

One disappointment for the MLVC was the administration’s support, throughout the year, of coal-fired power plants. “Coal is a very dirty energy source. What goes up comes right back down. We have mercury warnings on every single one of our lakes and streams in the state. And we happen to think that our state deserves to move in a better, clean energy direction,” says Wozniak.

Overall, Wozniak gives Governor Snyder a passing grade. “Comparing this governor to the other candidates in the field, I have to say that Governor Snyder is following his commitment to protect the Great Lakes through his veto…those kind of small but very important steps are the means that we have to protect our Pure Michigan.”

You can learn more about the MLCV’s “How Green is your Governor” scorecard at environmentreport.org.

-Meg Cramer, Michigan Radio Newsroom