Friday, March 15, 2019

Power by the People: Renewable Energy Reduces the Highest Electric Rates in the Nation

Pictured here are solar panels installed on the campus of Michigan Tech University, where researchers have found renewable and distributed generation energy sources can save Michigan electric consumers money. (Photo © Sarah Bird and courtesy Kelley Christensen)

By Kelley Christensen, Michigan Tech science and technology publications writer

Posted March 14, 2019, on Michigan Tech News
Reprinted in part here with permission


Coal is the primary fuel source for Midwest electric utilities. Michigan Technological University researchers found that increasing renewable and distributed generation energy sources can save Michigan electric consumers money.

As renewable energy technologies and access to distributed generation like residential solar panels improve, consumer costs for electricity decrease. Making electricity for yourself with solar has become more affordable than traditional electricity fuel sources like coal.

However, as three Michigan Tech researchers contend in a new study, while utility fuel mixes are slowly shifting away from fossil fuels toward renewable sources, Michigan utilities, and U.S. utilities broadly, continue a relationship with fossil fuels that is detrimental to their customers. ... Click here to read the rest of this article and learn about the researchers on Michigan Tech News.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

DNR's Western UP Citizens' Advisory Council to meet in Dickinson County March 21

MARQUETTE -- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Western Upper Peninsula Citizens’ Advisory Council is scheduled to discuss deer camp survey results, Michigan moose history and responses to council resolutions when the panel meets on Thursday, March 21, in Dickinson County.

The meeting will be from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CDT (6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EDT), in Room 231 at Bay College West, located at 2801 North U.S. 2 in Iron Mountain.

Five new members will be introduced to the council. DNR staffers will offer division reports. Committee reports will also be delivered.

The public can participate in the session by offering comments to the discussion during two specified periods during the meeting. Click here for public comment instructions.

The DNR’s eastern and western Upper Peninsula citizens’ advisory councils are designed to provide local input to advise the DNR on regional programs and policies, identify areas in which the department can be more effective and responsive and offer insight and guidance from members’ own experiences and constituencies.

The council members represent a wide variety of natural resource and recreation interests. Agenda items are set by the council members and council recommendations are forwarded to the DNR for consideration.

To find nomination forms to be considered for a future council member vacancy, or to locate meeting packets and agendas, visit Michigan.gov/UPCAC.

For more information, contact the DNR Upper Peninsula coordinator’s office at 906-226-1331.

The Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council draws its membership from 10 counties in the region -- Marquette, Delta, Dickinson, Menominee, Baraga, Iron, Gogebic, Ontonagon, Houghton and Keweenaw.

The Eastern Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council represents Alger, Schoolcraft, Luce, Mackinac and Chippewa counties.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Sen. Stabenow Statement on Great Lakes funding cuts in Trump Administration budget request

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). (Photo courtesy Sen. Stabenow)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, released a statement today on the proposed Trump Administration budget that would make a 90 percent cut to funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative:

"The Trump Administration just doesn’t get it and is once again gutting funding for the Great Lakes," Stabenow said. "Just like last year, and the year before, the people of Michigan will make their voices heard and I will lead the bipartisan fight to restore every penny."

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which Senator Stabenow authored in 2010 and has continued to champion, is critical to cleaning up the Great Lakes, beaches, and waterways and fighting invasive species like Asian carp. According to the University Research Corridor, more than 700,000 Michigan jobs, one in five in the state, are tied to water.

During Sen. Stabenow's Apri 2017 visit to Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center, she commented on the need to push back against the Trump Administration's efforts to defund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative:

Following a 2017 presentation by Amy Marcarelli, Michigan Tech associate professor of biological sciences, concerning Great Lakes research on invasive species and algal blooms, Sen. Debbie Stabenow comments on the importance of GLRI funding for Great Lakes scientific projects. Seated next to her is former Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz. (File video by Keweenaw Now)*

President Trump proposed cutting funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in his 2017, 2018, and 2019 budget requests. Senator Stabenow led the effort to restore that funding all three years.

* Editor's Note: Click here to read our Apr. 24, 2017, article, "Sen. Debbie Stabenow learns about Michigan Tech's Great Lakes research during visit to GLRC."