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Posts from the ‘climate change’ Category

TGIF Linkaround!

Gotta make the boss happy so let’s start with this replay of MEC President Chris Kolb on last week’s Focus on the Environment show on Eastern Michigan University’s WEMU radio. Kolb, with co-host Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, talked about Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget, the Kalamazoo River oil spill cleanup and other issues.

Next let’s visit our neighbors down south…you know, the ones we grudgingly sharedone-third of our Big Ten men’s basketball championship with this year.

Don't try this at home

They’re wrestling overhow much unregulated water users should be able to siphon from Lake Erie and its tributaries. We defer to our friends at the Ohio Environmental Council who say the proposal is getting better, but isn’t good enough. Oh, and see you in the Big Dance, Buckeyes!

Down in Brooklyn, MI, home of Pumpkin Quest (!), people turned out for a discussion on the rewards and risks of a new and more intensive wave of fracking in Michigan. MEC’s James Clift was a panelist, though he didn’t make this radio station’s audio clip report that included State Rep. Mike Shirkey, who organized the forum.

Up north, MEC ally and member group Michigan Land Use Institute has this excellent story on Consumers Energy’s solar lottery. Twice as many people applied for the program as there were slots. We think we should let more people participate, and the 25×25 ballot issue will be the way to do it. Or, we could just throw our burgeoning renewable energy industry under the bus like State Rep. Ray Franz would do.

In weather news …… WHASSSUP Springtime??!! MEC has two beekeepers in the office, and their girls were happy with the mild winter. But the loss of ice cover on the Great Lakes – 79 percent over 38 years – is no small matter. Also, we may see more nasty insects this summer as a result. Hey, maybe Grist is right and a climate change conspiracy theorists make no %$#!!& sense.

Finally, in the “we can’t make this stuff up” category, here are two things MEC is not staking out a position on:  This lunatic with a wood stove heater in his Volvo, and these people who are fertilizing soybeans with urine.

Have a good weekend, and don’t forget to spring ahead!

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Turning crusaders to milksops

Renewable energy sure takes a beating from free marketers like Heritage Foundation policy analyst Ben Lieberman, who said in November saying  wind power  is “a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end.”

In Michigan, bashing clean energy’s alleged dependence on subsidies is a staple for conservative activists including the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Detroit News’ editorial board, and WRJ’s Frank Beckmann. Subsidies for clean energy make them apoplectic ( the NY Times’ 21st most looked up word!)

So why do they turn from raging champions of the free market to milksops  when the topic turns to the huge and ongoing subsidies for fossil fuels? We’ve asked the question repeatedly, including at a Mackinac Center gathering in 2010, but have yet to receive a coherent answer.

Now, President Obama has outlined a plan to eliminate $39 billion in fossil fuel tax breaks over the course of the next decade. Consistency would dictate that the Heritage Foundation and its Michigan sidekicks promptly and loudly denounce these market-distorting tax handouts and support the President’s plan to eliminate them.

Don’t hold your breath.

 

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Bullroar!!

Since the ideal height of Michigan trees has been adequately covered by Mitt Romney, we tree huggers are moving on to a different topic.

Harken back to 2008 when opponents of Michigan’s first renewable energy standard warned darkly that it would make our rates skyrocket and our electricity grid unreliable. We thought that was hysterical bullroar. And the latest report from the Michigan Public Service Commission confirms those suspicions.

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