Meanwhile in Michigan

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on May 1, 2008

in Politics

Paul Chesser, Climate Strategies Watch

I just spent two days in Detroit and Lansing talking about the fairly new Michigan Climate Action Council, where I was hosted by the free-market Mackinac Center for Public Policy. As usual the local mainstream media showed little interest, but I did get some coverage by the state's (subscription only) political news service, Gongwer ("Group Charges Climate Panel Rigged"):

Michigan, and other states, have hired the Center for Climate Strategies to assist state climate councils in determining how best the state can respond to global warming issues. But what they are getting is a pre-packaged set of recommendations that have no proof of effectiveness, Paul Chesser of Climate Strategies Watch told those gathered Tuesday for a luncheon hosted by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

State officials said the Michigan council is developing its own plan based on Michigan findings and needs, not being served a pre-determined set of recommendations.

Compare that to what the MCAC process memo — basically the ground rules — say about the commission's procedures and sources of recommendations:

The MCAC process will follow the format of CCS policy development processes used successfully in a number current and completed state-level climate action planning initiatives. To facilitate learning, collaboration, and task completion by the MCAC members, CCS will provide a series of decision templates for each step in the process, including: a catalog of state actions with ranking criteria, a balloting form for identification of initial priorities for analysis, a draft policy option template for the drafting and analysis of individual recommendations, a quantification principles and guidelines document for each TWG, and a final report format. CCS will also provide meeting materials for each MCAC meeting and TWG teleconference call, including: a PowerPoint presentation of the discussion items, an agenda and notice of the meeting, a draft summary of the previous meeting for review and approval, and additional handouts as needed. Materials will be provided by CCS in advance through website posting and email notice with a goal of seven-days advance notice. CCS will provide and manage a project website ( in close coordination with the DEQ. All website materials are reviewed by the DEQ prior to posting. Examples of CCS project websites can be found at

But other than that, Michigan is unique! More from the Gongwer report:

Mr. Chesser argued the state climate councils, such as the Michigan Climate Action Council, should be open to discussions of the science supporting global warming findings as well as policies to address it. But he said CCS-run councils do not allow such discussions.

DEQ spokesperson Robert McCann admitted the Climate Action Council was not discussing the reality or causes of global warming. "They're starting point is what science is telling us," he said. "There's really is no scientific debate at this point."

That's because the alarmists are afraid to debate!

But Mr. McCann said the council is not being led to pre-determined recommendations that CCS may have offered in other states. "That's certainly not how it's working here," he said. "They are really taking an open book look at what's happening here."

And CCS is the author.

Mr. McCann argued the recommendations expected from the Climate Action Council will not only help to improve the state's environment, but will also help to improve its economy by creating incentives for alternative energy and energy efficiency. "They'll help us protect the environment and carve a path to those next alternative energy jobs," he said.

There they go again

Some locals are not thrilled.


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