Monday, October 26, 2009

DNR Control Getting Dicier

As the State Legislature points towards approving a measure to remove the Governor as appointing authority for the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources - - and returning that power to the DNR board - - Wisconsin State Journal reporter Dee Hall launched in print Sunday what had been long-rumored around the Capitol:

That former DNR Secretary Scott Hassett's abrupt replacement by Gov. Jim Doyle was tied to some degree to the DNR's 2007 regulatory enforcement action against the UW-Madison's heavily-polluting downtown coal-fired Charter Street power plant.

The action, and resulting settlement, will end the polluting coal-burning operation, and that's a good thing- - but it pitted two state agencies against each other.

Doyle, of course, had every right to replace Hassett. He was an at-will employee, but the timing raised lingering questions and intrigue.

Any DNR Secretary is a high-profile figure in a politically-consumed and heavily-networked town.

The story speaks volumes about internal and external politics and I don't think we've heard the last of it.

1 comment:

crackbaby said...

The corruption in DNR extends to the Endangered Resources Division where they have let the State's only endangered mammal, the American Pine marten, go nearly extinct in the state, again.

And to the Forestry Division where a sneak attack resulted in a doubling of the logging on the state forests.

And to the Water Division where enforcement of polluted runoff rules appears to be nearly non-existent.

Doyle sucks, pretty much, when it comes to the environment.