Advance Notice: Briefs

Whitmer gets kudos from key Republican on environmental shakeup

By: - February 6, 2019 2:17 pm

There’s been some Republican grumbling about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s move on Monday to restructure the beleaguered Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), but a key GOP official has her back.

Candice Miller

Candice Miller, a former congresswoman who now oversees environmental and water issues for Macomb County as public works commissioner, praised Whitmer for her new Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), Politics Central reported. Miller said she “applauded” the Democratic governor for shifting the Office of the Great Lakes into EGLE.

“This sends a clear message on the importance that the governor’s office places on our most treasured asset,” Miller said. “The Great Lakes are more than just a defining attribute of Michigan, they are the world’s largest source of fresh water, a critical ecosphere, a foundation for economic activity and great place for family recreation.”

Miller added that her office “looks forward to working alongside the new [EGLE] on water quality issues.”

She didn’t mention Whitmer’s executive directive adding Michigan into the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of 19 other governors, mostly Democrats, who voluntarily agreed to cut their state’s greenhouse gas emissions to levels consistent with the 2016 Paris Climate Accords.

Macomb County has had its share of environmental issues, including a sinkhole in Fraser that cost $75 million to repair. Last year, the county had to deal with a “fatberg,” a collection of fats, oils and grease that clog sewer pipes when combined with solid items like baby wipes. The mass was 100 feet long, 11 feet wide and as much as 6 feet tall, WDIV-TV reported.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.