This was written by Vee Heymach:
“Michigan is home to too many outdated coal plants that threaten the health of our citizens, particularly our children, every day. President Obama and his administration are dedicated to reducing dangerous pollution in our air and water that triggers asthma attacks and other lung and heart diseases. On behalf of Michigan moms and kids, we say, ‘Thank you, Mr. President.”
Patty Birkholz, two term Michigan State Senator (R), responds to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan:
“The President’s speech on climate change underscores our obligation to future generations to live up to one of the great challenges of our time to curb the increasing incidences of draught, severe weather, sinking water levels in the Great Lakes, and devastation of Michigan agricultural staples such as our famous cherry and apple harvests. This is our opportunity to continue our progress in building our renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors; these industries are worth billions to our state and are rooted in our manufacturing heritage. Rather than spending ratepayer dollars on aging coal infrastructure – because it is truly the ratepayers who bear this cost – we must recognize that we have the ability, and the moral obligation, to do better and establish our state and our nation as a leader in clean technology and reducing carbon emissions.”
Patty Birkholz is a former Michigan State Representative, State Senator, and the past Director of the Office of the Great Lakes in Governor Rick Snyder’s administration. She was the Republican co-sponsor and author of Michigan’s bipartisan 2008 energy legislation that established Michigan’s current Renewable Energy Standard and the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard. She currently serves as the West Michigan Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.
Michigan utilities, environmental groups respond to Obama’s proposed power plant regulations ~ from MLIVE:
As President Barack Obama calls for stricter regulations on coal-fired power plants, Michigan’s two largest electric utilities said investments in their facilities have already begun to pay off in cleaner air…DTE Energy and Consumers Energy said they are investing billions of dollars in their coal-fired power plants to meet, and in some cases exceed, federal regulations. Existing rules cover emissions of mercury and other substances, but not carbon pollution. She said the utility has already spent nearly $2 billion on emissions control equipment at its Monroe Power Plant. The plant has been listed among the nation’s worst when it comes to mercury pollution and emissions of acid gases. It also has burned petroleum coke as part of tests, garnering criticism from environmental groups. Consumers Energy’s plant in Ottawa County was the biggest source of carcinogenic metals emissions in 2011, according to the Environmental Integrity Project. Spokesman Dan Bishop said the Jackson-based power company is spending more than $1.1 billion over several years to reduce power plant emissions. “There are a number of existing federal regulations that have really cleaned up Michigan’s air and reduced emissions at power plants,” Bishop said. Proposed regulations on carbon emissions for existing plants won’t be issued until next June, and it’ll take an additional year to finalize them, according to the Washington Post. Other aspects of Obama’s plan will boost renewable energy production on federal lands, increase efficiency standards and prepare communities to deal with higher temperatures.
Michigan Energy Futures Conference speaker says big businesses are on board to fight climate change ~ from AnnArbor.com
“Janet Peace, the center’s vice president for markets and business strategy, is a keynote speaker at the first annual Michigan Energy Futures Conference hosted by the Erb Institute at the Ross Business School Wednesday. She said the companies involved with the center do not fit into the “climate change denier” mold at all.
“I don’t hear companies say that climate change is a myth,” she said.
“Maybe it’s just the people I work with, but the big businesses I work with are not climate change-deniers. They are out there actively managing the risks of climate change and looking for opportunities.”
It’s not as though Peace is working with small companies more concerned with the environment than profits. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions has a 33-member business council that mostly includes Fortune 500 companies.
Whatever system is implemented, Peace said that she hopes it is implemented quickly. With Congress as gridlocked as ever with immigration legislation and other concerns, she said she hopes that President Barack Obama will work through the Environmental Protection Agency to craft new carbon regulations.
“Companies want certainty,” she said.
“They know that not doing anything exposes them to increasing risks down the line but they want to make sure that they know what the guidelines are going to be that they will be expected to follow… If Congress is not willing to act, the President would be right to use his powers within the Clean Air Act to curb emission.”
Michigan environmental groups praise Obama’s plan on climate change ~ from Detroit News:
The president laid out his approach to addressing the impacts of climate change in an afternoon appearance at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In the address, he laid out a multi-tiered approach that included:
- A goal of reducing carbon emissions by 3 billion metric tons by 2030.
- New carbon emission standards for power plants.
- Opening additional public lands to wind and solar development.
- Expanding the Better Building Challenge to help buildings become 20 percent more efficient in the next seven years.
“I am convinced this is a fight that American can and will lead in the 21st century,” Obama told the audience. “And I’m convinced it’s a fight America must lead.” That was good news to the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.
“We agree that the United States can and must be a world leader on developing clean technology to reduce carbon emissions and we want Michigan to lead the charge,” said Lisa Wozniak, the group’s executive director. “Already, Michigan’s clean energy policy has generated $1.8 billion in economic investment since its 2008 enactment, proving that combating climate change is good for our planet, our pocketbooks and pushes our economy forward.”In his address, Obama took on those who say drastic steps taken in the name of curbing carbon could hurt the nation’s economy. He pointed to the aftermath of passage of the Clean Air Act in the 1970s when critics said new pollution standards would decimate the auto industry.“Guess what?” he asked the audience. “It didn’t happen.”Officials with the Michigan Environmental Council said the president’s plan would ultimately improve the nation’s fiscal health.“President Obama’s call for cuts in carbon pollution, if achieved, will boost the economy, improve public health and protect ratepayers as well as help mitigate the effects of climate change,“ the organization said in a statement. “The initiative also gives Michigan an opportunity to harness the economic opportunities by expanding investments in energy efficiency and clean energy.“A spokesperson for DTE Energy found common ground with parts of the president’s approach to climate change.“We believe it is prudent to take reasonable steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency, through continued operation of our Fermi 2 nuclear power plant and through development of renewable energy resources,” said DTE’s Randi Berris. “We want to ensure that any such steps are structured in a cost-efficient way that protects our customers, the people of Michigan and the state’s economy.”
The Moms Clean Air Force Michigan team welcomes your continued support as we look forward to a clean air future for our families!