Environment Picture

Michigan Environmental Report

Spring 2014

Vol. 32 Issue 2

Rich Vander Veen: Guiding communities to clean-power prosperity

Corn and soybeans are the cash crops for brothers Kent and Olin Humm, seventh-generation farmers near the Gratiot County village of Breckenridge. But the payments they receive for the four wind turbines on their 3,000 acres sure don’t hurt. “We’re not out working in the field today,” said Kent Humm in his workshop on a wet spring afternoon, “but we’re still making money.” That’s music to the ears of clean-energy entrepreneur Rich Vander Veen, the 2014 recipient of the Michigan Environmental Council’s Helen and William Milliken Distinguished Service Award.
View Article2014-07-03  •  Spring 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report

Steve Hamilton: Spearheading a river’s recovery with sound science

Steve Hamilton was on his way to a meeting in East Lansing in 2010 when he heard about the oil spill. A pipeline owned by Canadian energy giant Enbridge had gushed more than a million gallons of heavy crude into a Kalamazoo River tributary. As details emerged, the startling reality became clear: The river Hamilton loves had just suffered the worst inland oil spill in U.S. history.
View Article2014-07-02  •  Spring 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report

President’s Column: How the transportation deal stalled

The condition of Michigan’s roads, bridges and public transportation is, to put it mildly, nothing to brag about. So it was a big opportunity for MEC when, in 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder asked us to be at the table as he began to develop his transportation and infrastructure special message to the legislature. We told the governor then what we still say today: How you spend your transportation dollars is just as important as how much you spend. In the three years since, we’ve been working not only to secure adequate funding for our transportation system, but also to transform it.
View Article2014-07-02  •  Spring 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report

Detroit’s Denby High School seniors examine city and their role in reviving it

Springtime in a high school student’s senior year is full of exciting rituals: the last day of school, the graduation ceremony, the open house. Students at Denby High School on Detroit’s northeast side started a new tradition this year: the Pathway to Transformation.
View Article2014-07-01  •  Spring 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report

MEC earns LEED Platinum certification for green headquarters

I admit it. The nitty gritty realities of my daily life don’t always live up to the high-minded environmental pronouncements I make to family and friends or post on Facebook. The pull of that third cup of morning coffee can make an on-time bike commute impossible. Descending the stairs at midnight to turn off the basement light can feel like too much to ask. Leaving for the farmers’ market in the closing minutes of a World Cup match, so my produce comes from Mason instead of Mexico, requires impulse control I lack. Walking the talk isn’t easy. That’s why I am proud of what we’ve accomplished at MEC with the office building we purchased two years ago in the shadows of the State Capitol.
View Article2014-07-01  •  Spring 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: energy efficiency

Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing succeeds in gaining additional state budget funds to save children from lead poisoning

The state legislature passed a budget in June that included $500,000 more for lead abatement, raising the total for lead remediation in the 2015 budget to $1.75 million. The Safe Homes/Safe Kids: Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing (MIALSH) coalition brought people to the Capitol in advance of the budget hearings for a day of outreach to state policymakers. Coalition members also testified before both the House and Senate during the budget process.
View Article2014-07-01  •  Spring 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report

Transit Matters campaign finds online audience

This spring, as the Michigan legislature worked to craft a bill package to increase transportation funding, Transportation for Michigan (Trans4M) coalition members and staff promoted the importance of improving Michigan’s complete transportation system through their #TransitMatters social media and communications campaign. Insightful, fun and enlightening graphics highlighted the many reasons that funding our public transit, rail, waterways, trails and dial-a-ride services is just as important as funding our roads and bridges
View Article2014-07-01  •  Spring 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report

A clean power plan for Michigan

Many of us working on energy and climate policy looked forward to June 2 like it was Christmas morning. That was the date set for the EPA to announce a new draft rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants, building on the Clean Power Plan President Obama drafted last summer. Now that we’ve had a couple of weeks to dig into the rule, does it match the hype leading up to it? On one hand, yes: It is undoubtedly the most significant action the U.S. government has taken to address climate change, and it should yield economic benefits and job creation.
View Article2014-07-01  •  Spring 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report
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