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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: Making Environmental Justice a Priority

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WMUK
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Commentator Gary Wilson says citizens fighting big companies over clean air and water have few allies in government, and he says it's hard for them to get the attention of major environmental groups. 

In his essay for Great Lakes Echo Environmental Justice: No One's Priority Wilson finds many reasons for that. Those range from different definitions of environmental justice among different groups, the difficulty of taking on big companies that may be the source of the pollution and the inner workings of environmental groups. 

Wilson says environmental groups have to satisfy the people who provide them funding. He says environmental justice issues can be hard to get done in a short period of time and show measurable results. And Wilson says citizens involved in those battles can be uncompromising and unrealistic about what can be accomplished. 

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Interview with Gary Wilson - web version

Asked how environmental justice can become a priority, Wilson says "tar sands" oil seems to be an issue that is getting the attention of environmental groups and citizen groups. He says that includes "petroleum coke" which is a by-product of tar sands oil. Wilson says there have already been battles over tar sands oil and pet coke. But he says more are likely. 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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