Environment Picture

MEC IN THE NEWS

There is no capacity shortfall. MISO, the folks in charge of managing the grid, have made it clear that Michigan actually has excess capacity. This is an attempt by the utilities to hang on to old, inefficient coal plants they should have shut down years ago.”
—Sarah Mullkoff in an Oct. 22 Midwest Energy News article on a utility-backed ad campaign to drum up fears about an alleged electricity shortfall in Michigan

If one thing goes wrong, it could sacrifice the quality of the Great Lakes for years to come.”
—Sean Hammond in a widely distributed Oct.30 Associated Press story about proposals for commercial fish farming in the Great Lakes

If we do nothing, the impacts that they will see in their lifetimes, that we will see in our lifetimes, are not acceptable to me. We need to do what we can to make sure that they have a livable world that they’re moving into.”
—Kate Madigan, referring to her children, in an Oct. 17 Northern Express cover story highlighting her as one of Northern Michigan’s leading climate activists

“We are happy to see that task force members recognize the significant and immediate threat Line 5 poses to our Great Lakes, and the ideas they’ve put forth to address that threat are good ones. That said, we need immediate action focused on eliminating this threat, because no amount of preparation would be adequate to prevent utter disaster if Line 5 fails. Twenty three million gallons of oil pass through the Straits of Mackinac in these aging pipelines every day, so we need to see a strong sense of urgency from state leaders to put these good ideas into action.”
—Chris Kolb in a July 16 Petoskey News-Review story on the release of a state task force’s recommendations for the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipelines

The key is to always get to the point where you can retire power plants and not have to build a new one.... You want to give direction to your public utilities of where you want them to go and you want to make sure they’re doing things in the best interest of ratepayers.”
—James Clift in an Oct. 11 MiBiz.com story on a report that energy efficiency saves Michigan ratepayers $4.38 for every dollar invested

“The Obama Administration has provided a solid framework for making necessary carbon reductions and the flexibility needed to craft a plan that plays to our strengths. If we get it right, this plan will accelerate the growth of Michigan’s clean energy industry while saving ratepayers billions of dollars, improving public health and preserving a livable world for our grandkids.”
—Kolb in a Sept. 1 Detroit News story on the Snyder Administration’s decision to craft a Michigan-specific plan for complying with the federal Clean Power Plan, rather than accepting a one-size-fits-all federal compliance plan

If Michigan wants to be competitive, if we want to attract talent, if we want to keep our college-educated people here, we have to have more and better options to get around. And people have to be willing to recognize that and invest in it.”
—Liz Treutel in a July 21 Detroit News piece on the Coast-to-Coast passenger rail project she is leading, which would reconnect Detroit and Grand Rapids

I don’t think we can honestly say we’re any safer from catastrophic oil spills than we were five years ago. After all, the same company that caused the Kalamazoo spill is still pumping about 23 million gallons of oil a day through the heart of the Great Lakes. However, we are much more aware of the danger the pipelines pose, and that gives us the opportunity to improve safety.”
—Andy McGlashen in a July 24 Detroit News story about lessons learned five years after the 2010 Enbridge oil spill in a Kalamazoo River tributary

Why would you put these enclosed cages out there, along with all the food and waste? Now is the time to close the door. It isn’t worth the potential risks. We need these closed-loop systems that look to using and reusing the resources we have. That’s sustainability. That’s the future.” —Clift discussing Great Lakes fish farming proposals in an interview on the radio program Greening of the Great Lakes

“We’ve done the easy things. This isn’t the low-hanging fruit of the 1970s when all we had to do was stop rivers from burning. We have to have a full effort from all sectors, urban, suburban and agricultural.
—Hammond in an Aug. 4 Bridge Magazine story on Lake Erie’s persistent algae problem
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