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Homeowners don't like proposed changes to Michigan's net metering program
August 27, 2015
Time running out for public comment on future of Michigan's waterways
August 25, 2015
Will Michigan buy into fish farming on the Great Lakes?
August 25, 2015
Group seeking to break human-powered land speed record in Michigan
August 24, 2015
Detroit company poised to revolutionize how cities manage stormwater
August 22, 2015
Grand River to become water trail
Michigan Radio Newsroom
August 22, 2015
Questions over how proposed changes to the state's net metering program would impact the state flew in a Senate panel today, with some senators expressing skepticism as to whether the current plan is fair for both Michigan solar users and utility companies.
SB 0438, sponsored by Sen. John Proos(R-St. Joseph), increases the cap on how much energy solar users can submit to the grid from 1 percent to 10 percent and decreases program startup costs. However, participants would instead purchase energy from utilities at retail value and then earn benefits at the wholesale rate of the electricity.
Testifying before the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, representatives of DTE Energy, Consumers Energy and the Edison Electric Institute laid out their reasoning for supporting net metering reform. Currently, the plan is a subsidy for individual solar users who use and impact the grid daily, they said, and argued changing the system would create a fairer environment for all the other ratepayers not participating in net metering.
But net metering supporters have raised loud opposition to the plan as it stands, and several senators debated the logistics of the current reform proposal on the table during today's hearing.
For the full article, see "Net Metering Debate Rages On In Senate Panel", Inside MIRS Today, August 26, 2015.
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Over the past five years, you may have heard about Waukesha, Wisconsin’s application to permanently divert water from Lake Michigan. The city’s application has dragged on for so long that it probably doesn’t seem newsworthy anymore. But now is the time to pay attention.
Waukesha’s application has huge implications for the entire Great Lakes region because it is the first application to divert water under the Great Lakes Compact, the federal law ratified in 2008 designed to protect our Great Lakes from water withdrawals to areas outside the Great Lakes Basin.
The decision on Waukesha’s application will set a precedent that either upholds these protections or allows many other out-of-basin diversions of Great Lakes water.
Unfortunately, Waukesha’s application ignores other reasonable alternatives to their proposed Great Lakes diversion. In its application, Waukesha is proposing to double the size of its water service area, contravening the standards of the Great Lakes Compact.
By including this expanded service area, Waukesha greatly inflates the amount of water it needs and tries to justify using Great Lakes water rather than local groundwater.
Unfortunately for Waukesha residents, the city’s Lake Michigan diversion plan also does so at extremely high cost to ratepayers. Waukesha Water Utility’s 2015 budget projects a $334 million cost for its proposed Great Lakes diversion, which will increase residential utility bills from around $260 per year to almost $900 per year by 2024.
For the full article, see George Meyer, "In court, the battle for Lake Michigan rages on", Detroit News, August 26, 2015.
Michigan officials received safety inspection data sought during a yearlong inquiry on the controversial Mackinac straits Line 5 pipeline, but the raw form information was "too complex" for the state's task force to understand, say executives with the Canadian energy giant Enbridge Inc.
"They said there were information gaps because raw data isn't good enough, and we agree — we need to do a better job of summarizing that for them," said Cynthia Hansen, senior vice president with Enbridge Inc., which operates a pair of twin oil pipelines under the straits just west of the Mackinac Bridge.
Enbridge was sharply criticized last month in the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task report for withholding inspection data from the joint inquiry by the Department of Environmental Quality and Attorney General Bill Schuette's office.
The 80-page report cited gaps in Enbridge-supplied information on the methods and results of pipeline integrity inspection reports conducted by company contractors.
For the full article, see Garret Ellison, "Mackinac oil pipeline inspection data 'too complex' for state, says Enbridge", MLive, August 24, 2015.
The buckets of water were lined up in a row, spaced about 20 feet apart, each taken from a different river or stream in Clinton County. Then up strolled Crush, a perky Jack Russell terrier-Australian Cattle dog mix, on a leash ahead of her trainer, Aryn Hervel.
The dog briefly sniffed each water bucket, lying down alongside most — the signal to her trainer that the bucket was a “hit” for the presence of the substance she’s trained to detect: human waste.
For the full article, see Keith Matheny, "Four-legged detectives: Dogs sniff out water pollution", Detroit Free Press, August 24, 2015.
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