The White House just announced that President Obama will nominate Lana Pollack as a Commissioner on the International Joint Commission. I’ve known Pollack for many years, going back to her days as a Michigan state senator representing Ann Arbor. I worked with her while she was president of the Michigan Environmental Council, which she grew into the most effective environmental advocacy organization in the state. She is one of the most knowledgeable, experienced, and savvy environmental advocates in the region (her full bio is included in the White House announcement). For what it’s worth, I publicly recommended Pollack for the IJC almost a year ago, and am thrilled to see her nomination for this important position.
The IJC has some very pressing issues before it, and Pollack would be ready to jump right in with her experience in environmental policy and advocacy. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has committed to updating the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and that should be one of Pollack’s priorities on the IJC. The IJC could help facilitate a solution to the Asian carp crisis, providing both scientific research and a forum to negotiate a long term solution. The IJC is currently taking public comments on its lake levels study, assessing the extent that climate change, dredging, water use, and natural causes have lowered Great Lakes water levels. And there are many other transboundary environmental issues between the United States and Canada (such as the impact of mining and refining Canadian tar sands for oil production) that Pollack and the IJC could help solve. Congratulation Lana, we're lucky to have you.