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May 13, 1981 - Image 8

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Michigan Daily, 1981-05-13

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4

PMpiMon
Page 8 Wednesday; May 13, 1981 The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCI, No. 6-S
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
No apocalypse
IT WOULD BE advisable for the idealogues of
the Reagan administration to exhibit an
uncharacteristic but requisite cool over last
Sunday's presidential election in France.
The unexpected ascendence to power of
veteran Socialist leader Francois Mitterrand,
together with his stated plan to nationalize his
country's industry, has caused the French
stock exchange to virtually crumble in panic;
the shock waves thus far emanating out of
Washington seem hardly less vibrant, with the
White House's obvious horror over Mit-
terrand's upset victory barely concealed un-
derneath the stiffly formal congratulations
issued by the Oval Office.
Already domestic alarmists are conjuring up
apocalyptic visions of Marxist France bridled
with a collectivist economy and a neutral, even
pro-Moscow foreign policy. They warn the
possible inclusion of French Communists in
Mitterrand's government will breed spies
within NATO, indeed may eventually wreck the
entire defense structure of Western Europe.
Such doomsday prophecies betray the
originators' political bias rather more than
their gifts'of prognostication. Committed
socialist though he is, Mitterrand is also a
passionate democrat disinclined to join hands
with political forces likely to shift his nation
toward a totalitarian mold.We would do well to
proceed with comparable diplomatic sobriety.
Bob Marley
WHEN AN immensely popular artist in
America passes on, it is de reguer to
reflect upon the imprimatur the artist left upon
our culture. But to do that when thinking about
the cancer-induced death Monday of Bob
Marley would be to utterly miss much of what
the singer lived for.
Welding a militant stance to popular island
music, Marley in time became infinitely more
than a pop star to thousands of poor Jamaican
blacks: He epitomized a final hope, a saviour.
Hs, political power in his nation can be
eneasured in many ways, the least not being
that he was ultimately forced to leave Jamaica
after he was wounded in an assassination at-
tempt.
Elections last year on the island changed the
political order, but true progress remains
achingly lacking. It is pathetic and frightening
when a society rears up and poisons its own
fruits, taking away a figure like John Lennon.
But it is a different horror when, as in Bob
Marley's case, it is nature itself which steals
away hope.

Fox in the henhouse?

By J. H. Taylor
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Anne
McGill Gorsuch, the newly con-
firmed head of the Environmen-
tal Protection Agency (EPA), is
moving her office this week from
the Interior Department, where
she had been camped out during
the confirmation process, over to
EPA. The fact of her temporary
residence at Interior has raised
sharp concerns among environ-
mentalists and others over where
her commitment lies - with the
Interior Department and its
development bias, or with EPA
and protection of the environ-
ment.
As a Colorado legislator, Gor-
such and her colleague, Speaker
Robert Burford, hired James
Watt's Mountain States Legal
Foundation to sue the EPA over
auto emission regulations man-
dated by the Federal Clear Air
Act. The suit failed, but Gorsuch,
Burford and Watt formed a close
friendship and working relation-
ship.
Today, James Watt is
Secretary of the Interior and has
already emerged as the con-
troversial key environmental
policy maker in the Reagan Ad-
ministration. Roert Burford,
still a close personal friend of
Gorsuch, has come to
Washington to head the Bureau of
Land Management (BLM),
which oversees millions of acres
of Federal land. And AnneGor-
such now heads the EPA.
A CHIEF concern expressed
during Gorsuch's confirmation
hearings revolved around the
question of how much indepen-
dence these different agencies
maintain from one another, given
their tight network of personal
friendships at the top. Said
Senator Max Baucus (D.-Mont.),
"I am concerned that the (EPA)
Administrator be the primary
environmental policy maker, not
others such as Secretary Watt."
While Gorsuch stressed her in-
tention to maintain her indepen-
dence from Watt, serious
questions remain about how she
can do so. Watt now heads a new
"cabinet council" on natural
resources and the environment
that is supposed to coordinate the
actions of many agencies, in-
cluding the EPA, involved in
these areas. Questioned as to how
decisions would be made in this
council, Gorsuch said she did not
yet know.
Since her appointment was an-
nounced two and a half months
ago, environmentalists have
suspected Gorsuch of wanting to
dismantle the agency. There
were rumors that she intended to
cut the staff by 10 to 20 percent
and remove some 300 of its senior
managers.
In addition, fears hay gbeen
widely expressed that Gorsuch

will be amendable to industry
demands that a key provision of
EPA laws be removed. This
provision has made it possible for
extensive intervention in EPA
rule-making, via civil lawsuits,
whenever there is evidence that
the agency is not fulfilling its
mandate to protect public health
and the environment. More than
almost any other agency in
Washington, the EPA was ac-
countable to its constituiency,
and its constituency was viewed
as environmentalists.
The closing of this window of
public intervention in the agency
is expected to e a major goal of
industry, and there is evidence
that the new Administration will
(
be cooperative.
AT HER confirmation hearing,
Ms. Gorsuch stressed President
Reagan's commitment to
regulatory reform, emphasizing
that "reform is not limited to
withdrawal of unnecessary or
overly burdensome singular
regulations, but envisions a much
broader scope involving the
process by which new regulations
are formulated and current
regulations evaluated."
Administratively, Gorsuch can
modify, repeal, or even annul
regulations. But that does not
remove the statutory
requirements for protecting the
environment. A wholesale review
of EPA's regulations is a mam-
moth undertaking and does
nothing to eliminate the uncer-
tainties industry faces. As Sierra
Club spokesman Carl Pope ob-
served: "If I was in industry in a
position where the rapid issuance
of EPA permits was important to
me, I would be terrified of this
Administration."
Another reform which Gorsuch
is expected to seek - the removal
of many senior level civil servan-
ts - has raised fears not only
among environmentalists, ut
e sen nin someiJndustrialists.
the senior level managers at

EPA are not Democratic "eco-
freaks," as they are often por-
trayed. They are career civil ser-
vants, most of whom worked in
the Nixon and Ford Ad-
ministrations, and they can
provide needed continuity.
FRANK FRIEDMAN, who
manages environmental affairs
for Atlantic Richfield Company,
expressed concern about the
development of a confrontational
attitude in EPA, and mistrust
between the old timers and the
new team, noting: "If the
bureaucrats are not with you,
they can turn a system around."
Some mistrust has already
developed, partly beacuse of
Gorsuch's previous fight against

4

EPA and her close association
with Secretary Watt and BLM
director Burford. Observers
noted that Gorsuch visited the
BLM offices and introduced her-
self to staffers there before she
visited the EPA offices. Said one
departing EPA official, who
requested anonymity, "They are
treating them (EPA staffers)
with the same kind of mistrust
that Stalin showed for Russian
prisoners of war returning home
from Germany, and it has shout
as much logic. There is no reason
for it.
Of course no one ever expected
President Reagan's appointee to
EPA to please the environmen-
talists. But the troubling question
now is whether she can please the
industrial and business con-
stituency.
The EPA has long been ac-
cused of hurting industry and
business through overzealous
regulations. But overzealous
change in the name of reform
could have the same effect.
Correspondent J. H. Taylor
wrote this story for Pacific
1News SerVice.

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