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August 05, 1984 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1984-08-05

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4

OPINION

Page 6
, bic tcbign B atIls
Vol. XCIV, No. 33-S
94 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Primary endorsements:
Dunn over Lousma
WHILE WE STILL have strong sympathies
for incumbent Senator Carl Levin,
Tuesday's Republican primary to pick Levin's
opponent offers the voters a clear choice:
former Rep. Jim Dunn's experience versus
retired astronaut Jack Lousma's popularity.
We would opt for experience.
Dunn spent two years in Congress, where he
worked with sensitive budget and defense
issues, and that experience shows in his
debates with Lousma. Dunn clearly addresses
each issue raised, while Lousma's often fuzzy
responses show that he has not had enough
time to learn the issues.
Both candidates are quick to point out their
allegiance to President Reagan, and the two
have few differences on major national issues.
Dunn's endorsement of mandatory seat belt
regulations may show an inkling toward ex-
cessive government, but his opposition to a
national drinking age should be applauded.
Dunn appears willing to go beyond mere
posturing by developing concrete plans for the
future. His well-reasoned, flexible approach to
issues speaks volumes about the direction in
which the Michigan Republican party needs to
move.
If a Republican is going to represent
Michigan in the Senate, it should be one who is
knowledgeable about the nation's problems
and can suggest ways to solve them. It should
be Jim Dunn.
Grimes over McCauley
iN THE SECOND CongressionalDistrict, the
Democrats must choose between Michael
McCauley and Donald Grimes to challenge in-
cumbent Republican Carl Pursell in the fall.
Both Grimes and McCauley possess enviable
qualifications, we are inclined to favor
Grimes.
Grimes, a research economist with the
University, seems to us more likely to flush
out the important issues during a campaign
against Pursell. He is intelligent, articulate,
and prepared to aggressively debate national
economic policy. Although his endorsement by
the Democratic Socialists may cause some
practical political difficulties, we feel Grimes
has the best chance in the uphill battle against
Pursell.
Morris over Jensen
THE REPUBLICAN primary for the 53rd
district state House of Representatives
seat deserves brief mention. The race for the
right to challenge Perry Bullard pits the ever-
amusing Paul Jensen against Gretchen
Morris. Jensen, who has a penchant for pro se
litigation and candidacy for public office,
deserves a place in government, but not in the
state legislature. Morris, on the other hand,
has raised some important issues and
promises a spirited campaign against
Bullard.

Sunday, August 5, 1984

The Michigan Daily

Acid rain:
High costs, few solutions

By Lauren Soth
The civil war between en-
vironmental protectionists and
job protectionists did not end with
the firing of former Interior
Agency officials Anne Gorsuch
Burford and Rita Lavelle.
President. Reagan made this
clear the other day when he took
a crack at environmentalists
"who use the conservation
movement as an excuse for blind
and arrogant attacks on enter-
preneurs who help the economy
grow."
THEN HE brought Burford
back to head an advisory com-
mittee-infuriating even leaders
of the Wildlife Fund and the Izaak
Walton League, groups which in-
clude some of Reagan's few sup-
porters in the conservation
movement.
A main battleground in this
war now involves acid rain. It's a
mean fight, and involves not just
regional but international con-
flict. Much of this focuses on the
Northeast-which also will be a
decisive area in the presidential
election, as it contains the most
voters in the most marginal
states.
Acid rain first became a public
concern in Sweden in the mid-
1960s. Anxiety has since spread
across Europe and into North
America. Slower tree growth,
fish kills, and other damage are
blamedonsulfur dioxide brought
from the air by the rain.
THE CONGRESSIONAL Office
of Technology Assessment says
sulfur pollutants also are the
single greatest factor in reducing
visibility in the eastern United
States.
Industrial interests are trying
to persuade Congress and the
public that acid rain is not a
problem-and isn't caused by
smokestack emissions anyway.
The alliance for Balanced En-
vironmental Solutions sends out
leaflets quoting scientists who
question the acid-rain con-
clusions of other scientists.
Chairman of this alliance is
Alexander Trowbridge, president
of the National Association of
Manufacturers. Other officers
are from the electric power,
coal, and railroad industries.
A RECENT alliance bulletin
asked questions about the acidity
of normal rainfall, about the ef-
fects of emissions and so forth.
The theme is that we don't know
enough to act on acid rain. This
also is the position of the ad-
ministration.
Still, Congress has been
moving toward controlling
emissions. It is considering
several bills which would
demand a reduction in the
release of sulfur dioxide. A
proposal for a nationwide tax on
electricity to finance acid rain

control recently was defeated in
committee; another-which calls
for the Midwest to pay the bulk of
the cleanup cost-was approved.
The dispute in Congress, then,
seems to be about how to do the
cleanup and how to pay for
it-not on whether to do it.
EMISSION CONTROLS would
have their greatest impact on the
power industry, or rather on their
customers, and Midwest coal
mining. This leads to job and
equity issues which stir the blood
of people in the Midwest and Nor-
theast.
Paul Portney, an economist
with Resources for the Future, a
non-profit research foundation,
has looked at the effects of
various cleanup methods on jobs.
He compared "scrubbing" the
emissions from smokestacks .
with 'f free-choice'
methods-which means essen-
tially using low-sulfur coal of the
central states.
Portney found using present
scrubbing technology would be
for more costly than switching to
low-sulfur coal. Moreover, swit-
ching to the cleaner fuel would
create 5,600 additional jobs in
mining and transportation
nationally-but it would mean a
loss of jobs in the Midwest.
IN 1977, CONGRESS, bowing to
regional pressures, ordered that
scrubbing be used to meet EPA
limits for new electric power
plants. This, in effect, is a way to
protect the high-sulfur coal
mines. Now the question is
whether to apply the scrubbing
requirement to all plants.
yN

Forced scrubbing would
protect the jobs of Midwestern
miners-but at a high cost to
electricity consumers-that is,
everybody. It also would cost jobs
in other areas.
The low-sulfur coal option, on
the other hand, would mean sub-
stantial loss of jobs in two states,
Illinois and Ohio, but 21
states-mostly in the northern
plains and Appalachia-would
gainemployment.
If low sulfur is chosen, Portney
suggests that the mining com-
panies and firms that make
mining equipment, which would
benefit from such a move, should
give preference to displaced
Midwestern workers. He says
that it would be worth it to
business firms to pay miners to
help them find new jobs, if they
could avoid the high cost of
scrubbing.
Reducing the damage from
acid rain and clearing the at-
mosphere in the northeastern
United States and southeastern
Canada is a national respon-
sibility, as Congress recognizes.
It ought to be carried out at the
lowest possible cost. The Nor-
theast quadrant should not have
to bear the cost of both higher
electric rates and job losses.
Soth, a Pulitzer Prizewin-
ning commentator and former
editorial page editor of The
Des Moines Register, wrote
this article for Pacific News
Service.
r

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