Diane S. Katz is an adjunct scholar for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, formerly serving as director of science, environment and technology policy from 2002 to 2008. Prior to joining the Center, Katz served for nine years as a member of The Detroit News editorial board, specializing in science and the environment, telecommunications and technology, and the auto industry. Her work has won numerous awards, including top honors from the Michigan Press Association in 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Understanding Public Opinion Surveys

Using Taxes to Lobby for Taxes

The High Cost of Government Regulation

Proposals to Further Regulate Michigan’s Electricity Market: An Assessment

More than a dozen bills are pending in the Michigan Legislature to expand regulation of the electricity industry and to impose new environmental requirements on energy production and sales. As a group, these legislative proposals assume the necessity of government intervention in the production and distribution of energy. This report details the drawbacks for consumers and the economy of substituting political forces for market forces in electricity service. … more

Bad Science Fuels Environmental Policies

The obvious disconnect between environmental policy and science is hardly surprising given the political pressure to act on climate change. … more

The Opportunities and Limitations of Biomonitoring

Remarkable advances in analytical chemistry now make it possible to measure minute levels of both natural and synthetic compounds in human tissue and body fluids. This “biomonitoring” allows researchers to determine more precisely than ever the degree to which individuals have been exposed to specific chemicals in the environment, and how exposures change over time. Consequently, federal and state officials increasingly regard biomonitoring as a potential new underpinning of environmental and public health regulations. … more

Understanding Public Opinion Surveys

Stemming the Debate

A Flawed Argument for Higher State Taxes

Weight of the Evidence

Michigan’s Deer Herd Flourishes While Hunters’ Numbers Decline

State Government Wants to Subsidize a Theme Park in Grayling Township

The Not So Good Life

By the standards of the last century, air quality today is excellent — notwithstanding the claims of environmental activists. … more

The Fluorescent Revolution

Reach Out and Tax Someone

Court Ignored Sound Science in Carbon Dioxide Ruling

Consensus is actually antithetical to the proper conduct of scientific inquiry. … more

Supreme Science?

Taken For a Ride

It bears noting that any park or other amusement facility that must rely on tax dollars, rather than private investment, is by definition not viable and thus unworthy of taxpayer support. … more

Taken For a Ride

Using Taxes To Lobby for Taxes

Great Lakes, Great Conundrum

Assessing Stricter Mercury Controls in Michigan

On April 17, 2006, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm directed the Department of Environmental Quality to draft a rule under the state’s Clean Air Act to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants by 90 percent. The governor ordered the reductions to occur in two phases. The first phase is supposed to entail the reduction schedule established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year. The second phase is supposed to exceed the federal requirements by reducing emissions 90 percent by the year 2015. … more

The Trade-Offs of Renewable Energy

Environmental Doomsayers Can Breathe Easy

This welcome news is yet another reminder that prognosticators of eco-catastrophe are off the mark. … more

Assessing the Case for Cable Franchise Reform

Advances in technology now make it possible for both cable firms and telecommunications companies to provide voice, data and video services to most homes and businesses. This constitutes a dramatic change from the days of cable dominance in the video market, and that of the “Baby Bells” in telephone service. What hasn’t changed, however, is the franchise regime that has long limited access to the local market and thus inhibited competition. In this paper, Diane S. Katz examines the effects of this obsolete regulation on consumers and the economy, as well as the myriad benefits of reform. … more

Katz Roils Waters at U.S. Senate

Network Neutrality Bills

Congress Seizes on Net Neutrality

The State of the Great Lakes

An Alternative to Green Orthodoxy (Viewpoint on Public Issues)

There is an alternative to embracing Green Orthodoxy. Few states or school districts have actually evaluated the veracity and impartiality of environmental curricula. … more

An Alternative to Green Orthodoxy

Government Broadband: Unnecessary and Unfair

More often than not, municipal broadband ventures have saddled taxpayers with unwelcome debt or otherwise failed to deliver promised results. … more

Government Broadband Unnecessary, Improper

Telecom Policy Staff

Telecom Reform: The Right Call for Michigan

A Wisconsin Telecommunications Policy Primer

A guide to understanding telecommunications law and regulation in Wisconsin and the United States. … more

Supreme Court Ruling Shows Telecom Regulation Should Be Abolished

The ruling’s outcome is all well and good. Yet the FCC’s distinction between “telecommunications services” and “information services” is, in fact, imprecise and arbitrary — a regulatory invention that has no place in today’s telecommunications market. … more

Creating Clear Signals on Telecom

Telecom firms are understandably reluctant to invest in markets where regulators wield power arbitrarily. … more

When Politics Trumps Science

There’s no shortage of examples in which public policy has proved deadly when divorced from science. … more

A Telecommunications Policy Primer

A guide to understanding telecommunications law and regulation in Michigan and the United States. … more