Aug 13, 2010

MI: Greens Nominate Slate of Candidates, Oppose Corporate Control of Lawmaking Process

A press release from the Green Party of Michigan, sent to TPID via email:
(Lansing) -- The Green Party of Michigan selected candidates over the July 31-August 1 weekend at its nominating convention in Lansing. Harley G. Mikkelson, from Caro, is the Green Party’s candidate for governor with Lynn Meadows, from Ann Arbor, as lieutenant governor.
In the wake of the oil spill on the Kalamazoo River, Mikkelson pointed out that "accidents always happen" when our society is dependent on oil and coal.  "In a state known for its manufacturing we have to prioritize an alternative energy policy.  Manufacturing plants running under capacity or closed should be converted into building mass transit.  If private business is unable to do this, the state government should be working with communities and the work force to begin this transition."
The oil spill points to the intersection of two central issues in the 2010 Green Party campaign:  tying the need for jobs to the need for move away from using non-renewable energy, whether oil or hydrocarbons, and transitioning toward wind, water and geothermal power.  The party also opposes nuclear energy as a solution -- it also poses grave safety issues.

In the interim, as Julia Williams, of Fraser, who is running for U.S. Congress in the 12th District, pointed out, regulations must be strengthened:  "We need to get away from allowing corporations to write the laws.  They can't be dictating our future.  That means tough regulations and an oversight process that prioritizes safety and sustainability.  We need to walk the walk when we talk about protecting our water and our air."
It was clear to Green Party activists attending the convention that both the BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico and the 35-mile long Enbridge Energy Company spill along the Kalamazoo River are the result of depending on corporate promises to do the right thing.  But both cases are examples of how inadequate and unprepared the corporations really are.  Both have been cited by various agencies but did not face immediate shutdown or takeover.
For those who ask, "Where can the money come from to convert our manufacturing?", Green Party candidates point to a federal war budget that only brings more war and destruction as well as starves our social programs and infrastructure.  As Harley Mikkelson remarked:  "The first priority naturally has to be people.  We need to make education, continuing education and early education, more and more available.  That has to be the number one priority, that and the environment, passing on an environment that's better than what was passed on to us."
For more information about all Green Party candidates in Michigan, go to:

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