Monday, September 25, 2017

Walker names Great Lakes Compact foe as key Foxconn aide

Cathy Stepp may be gone from the WI DNR, but the 'chamber of commerce mentality' she ram-rodded there at Scott Walker's direction is spreading and deepening across government and the landscape.

*  Walker replaced Stepp with a former GOP legislator who had also been a local chamber of commerce manager.

*  Also, the certainty that environmental protections will be superseded at the Foxconn site - - summary post, here - - by intentional official disinterest in the cumulative effects on Racine County water, land and air quality is the message delivered by the appointment to a new project oversight position by Walker of Atty. Matt Moroney, a former builders advocate, senior gubernatorial aide and DNR Deputy under agency wrecker Cathy Stepp.

So on the chamber of commerce-cum-government theme, Walker is two-for-two  today. No surprise.

Fingers crossed that these things do not today run in threes.

Here is a bit of what I'd posted in 2012 about Moroney's history and an ultimately failed effort to water-down or sidetrack the historic eight-state, two-nation water management agreement known as the Great Lakes Compact: 

His is not a household name, though Moroney helped write the original Assembly [iron] mining bill prior to its defeat, popped up in the story about the DNR having decided against referring to the State Justice Department an egregious case of human waste spreading on Jefferson County land near residential wells and helped explain the drop in DNR enforcement actions against polluters...
As a member of a Legislative Study Committee, Moroney raised numerous [Compact] objections, including claims that the Compact could usurp local control, restrict economic growth, and place burdens and limitations on "straddling counties" - - the very category created by Compact drafters to help a city like Waukesha gain eligibility to apply for a diversion of water outside of the Great Lakes basin.
"The overall goal of preventing water being diverted to dry states is a commendable goal and a goal that the home building industry wholeheartedly supports. However, the compact is far too limiting on Wisconsin residents, usurps state autonomy to accomplish Wisconsin objectives, and reaches into water quality issues when quantity was the original reason for the Compact. I have heard several arguments that being located next to the Great Lakes will become an economic advantage for Wisconsin in the years to come. However, if the water cannot be utilized for economic growth, being located next to the Great Lakes will put Wisconsin at an economic disadvantage."
I will repost below [separately] what I wrote in December, 2010 about this matter. Fair warning: It is a lengthy post because I wanted to preserve Moroney's argument in its totality.
An example from Moroney's formal comments to the Legislative Study Committee opposing the approval of the Compact:
7.    Cumulative Effects and Climate Page 20, Line 22 -- This section indicates that conservation programs need to adjust to new demands and the potential impacts of cumulative effects and climate. 
“Cumulative effects” is a dangerous standard to analyze. At what point is the tipping point where a cumulative effect is viewed as detrimental to the ecosystem? It would appear from the presentation by the Army Corps that this tipping point is far off for municipal uses of water. 
Why then have something in this document that is subjective and very controversial? There is also a concern about this document being utilized to implement air regulations and other similar regulations as a result of this reference to climate, which is an undefined term. 
If rules are promulgated as a result of climate concerns, this would place Wisconsin’s industries at a national and global economic disadvantage. 
Regulations to protect the climate that are adopted only by the Great Lakes States would have virtually no impact on the global climate. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sure that Secretary Meyer, if he shows up to work as rarely as Secretary Stepp did, will be just as loved and admired by his staff. Of course, Eagle River is further away so maybe we won't see him at all.