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August 01, 1981 - Image 3

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-08-01

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, August 1 1981-Page 3
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A2 EPA: facing uncertain future
EPA's prospects dim
because o Reagan s
ederal cutbacks

By JENNIFER MILLER
Daily staff writer
The uncertain changes that the En-
vironmental Protection Agency faces
under the Reagan administration have
local EPA personnel and environmen-
tal law experts worried.
"It's a catastrophe. The ad-
ministration is putting the industry in
charge of the EPA," said University
law Prof. Joseph Sax, a specialist in
environmental law.
THE MAJORITY of EPA appoin-
tmentsalready made by the Reagan
administration were made to lobbyists,
lawyers, or consultants who formerly
worked for industries regulated by the
EPA.
"At the minimum, you can expect
them (the new appointees) to be sym-
pathetic to the industries," Sax said.
"This is so extreme."
Charles Gray of the EPA's Motor
Vehicle Emission Laboratory in Ann
Arbor said that "our new assistant ad-
ministratorwas a lobbyist for the paper
industry. But whether that's good or
bad, I can't give any comment on."
Gray, director of the Emission Control
Technology Division, stressed that "the
attitude of the whole staff was not to

pre-judge people.
"MY BOSS resigned," Gray said.
"He quite candidly said he couldn't feel
comfortable with the changes being
made" by the Reagan administration.
The former boss had input to the ad-
ministration's "package" now being
developed on EPA changes, and was
"aware of the leanings" of Reagan's
EPA policies, Gray said. The White
House has not yet released the package
or officially stated its policy on the EPA
or the Clean Air Act, which faces
Congressional revision this year.
"There's no doubt that it (the Clean
Air Act) is going to be relaxed," Sax
said, "But the question is, by how
much?"
SAX SAID the Reagan appointments
could have some impact because "the
Congress usually relies heavily on the
regulatory agency" when developing
regulatory legislation.
"The Congress will not dismantle the
Clean Air Act, but there will be no help
from the administration, except for
negative impact," Sax said. The act is
complicated and should be adjusted
regularly, he said, but "this is different
from the notion of taking a meat axe to
See EPAPage 5

UNIVERSITY LAW PROF. Joseph Sax is a specialist in environmental law.
Reagan's staff appointments in the EPA are a "catastrophe," he said. The
graph above charts the average miles per gallon in city and highway
driving. The Ann ArborEPA regularly conducts these tests.
Testing alternative fuels,
emissions central to EPA

: By JENNIFER MILLER -
Daily staff writer
Staffers of the Environmental
Protection Agency's Motor Vehicle
Emission Laboratory in Ann Arbor say
that methanol (methyl alcohol) could
be the fuel of the future.
Produced from coal, methanol "can
~ be produced cheaply, I think," said Tim
Cox, a project manager at the MVEL.
"We could be the next OPEC if we use
~ all our coal," Cox said.
THE MVEL IS currently testing and
developing methanol, and other alter-
native fuels such as gasohol.
* i"The biggest decision this country
will make in the next few years," said
Charles Gray, director of the Emission
Control Technology Division, "is what
course we'll follow in alternative fuels,
and then get on it fast.
"We are extremely hopeful (about
methanol)," Gray said. "Regarding
cost per energy, methanol is the best
decision."
CHOOSING THE best alternative
fuel will be crucial, he said, because "if
we make the wrong choice, we're stuck
with it."
k.- Gray said that although Saudi Arabia
Doily Photo by PAUL ENGSTROM currently has an overproduction of oil,
ONE OF THE truck engines tested by the EPA for use with methanol. The trial run, however, was unsuccessful. See FUEL, Page S
.eL' {

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