Michigan Gov. Appoints Former BP Oil Spill Crony To Protect Environment

The good people of Michigan need to get this criminal out of office.

According to the Detroit Free Press Governor Snyder is under fire for his recent appointment of Heidi Grether who has connections to the BP oil spill, among other things.

Politics as usual in Michigan….

Gov. Rick Snyder’s choice of a former oil and gas industry lobbyist and executive to head the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality set off a firestorm of criticism Thursday, with at least one environmentalist saying Heidi Grether should recuse herself from pending decisions on the controversial Enbridge Line 5 pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac.

Snyder named Heidi Grether of Williamston, currently deputy director at the Michigan Agency for Energy, to replace Keith Creagh, who has served as interim DEQ director since late December, about three months the Flint drinking water crisis erupted as a major issue.

Grether worked in external affairs for BP America Inc. from 1993 to 2012, where she was a lobbyist and manager heavily involved in the company’s response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico, according to her LinkedIn page. Before that, she worked for Amoco Corp. as director of government affairs.

“Heidi has decades of experience in environmental quality issues, and has effectively served during times of crises and recovery,” Snyder said in a news release.

But critics said the appointment sends the wrong message after the lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water, which was linked to DEQ failures, and with mounting concerns about the potential for a pipeline rupture and oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac.

“I am infuriated but not shocked that Snyder chose to appoint someone who had a hand in one of the worst man-made water disasters and cleanup failures in history to head the MDEQ,” said Flint activist Melissa Mays, of Water You Fighting For and Flint Rising.

David Holtz, chair of the Michigan chapter of the Sierra Club, said that with an independent risk analysis of Line 5 about to get under way, Grether should recuse herself from all decisions on the issue.

“Protecting the Great Lakes shouldn’t fall to someone with such close ties to an industry whose profits will be directly impacted by her decisions as a public official,” Holtz said in a news release.

Snyder spokeswoman Anna Heaton said “Heidi was a standout among the candidates for the job because she has stepped up to challenges in the past and managed recovery efforts.” Heaton said “it’s unfortunate that people choose to publicly criticize her within hours of her appointment, rather than reach out to meet with her and discuss her plans for the department.”

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