News about environmental studies resources or events provided by the MSU Libraries. For more information visit the Environmental Studies Resources web page or contact Jon Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org
The signature of an international wind-energy company is on the lease agreement that may lead to wind turbines at the Muskegon County wastewater site.
Gamesa Energy USA, a subsidiary of a Spanish-based wind farm developer and wind turbine manufacturer, recently signed the agreement with the county that gives the company exclusive rights to investigate the possibility of constructing a 150-megawatt wind farm on the 11,000-acre property in Egelston and Moorland townships.
For the full article, see Eric Gaertner, "Gamesa Energy, Muskegon County agree on terms for potential wind farm", MLive, May 7, 2012.
State-owned rights to potential oil and natural gas lodes beneath nearly 20,000 acres of Oakland County -- including parcels in high-priced neighborhoods around big, popular lakes such as Orchard and Cass -- will be among those available for lease at an auction Tuesday in Lansing, a prospect causing unrest among some residents of the area.
Whether the auction eventually will lead to drilling in well-developed suburbs is an open question, state and industry officials said Friday. Only a fraction of oil and gas leases awarded by the state are ultimately exploited.
But the mere threat of oil rigs, heavy trucks and pipelines in proximity to some of southeast Michigan's priciest real estate is making some homeowners nervous.
For the full article, see Dawson Bell, "Orchard, Cass lakes neighbors fear drilling as state is set to auction mineral rights", Detroit Free Press, May 5, 2012.
For another editorial, see "Editorial: Drill everywhere now? Not so fast, legislators", Detroit Free Press, May 8, 2012.
Looking for information on how to control invasive plants? A new online database provides information on how to manage over 40 invasive plants common to the Midwestern United States.
The invasive plant control database was developed by the Midwest Invasive Plant Network (MIPN) in cooperation with UW-Extension weed specialist Mark Renz’ lab in the Agronomy Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Detailed information on non-chemical and chemical control methods is provided, including the appropriate timing of treatments and effectiveness of method. A key feature of the database is the ability to conduct a customizable search. Users can search information by applicator experience level, habitat where the species is being controlled; season control is taking place, and effectiveness of method. Information within this database was extensively reviewed by four individuals for each species, two of whom are experts on the species.
One of the greatest potential resources for information on control of invasive species is the experience of field staff and volunteers. However, accessing this trove of experience can be difficult. The MIPN control database allows dedicated individuals to share their invasive species control experiences (both successful and unsuccessful) with the wider community. The sharing of all types of invasive species data improves invasive species control across the region.
If you’re interested in learning more about the MIPN control database, an online training session and demonstration will be held on May 3 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. To join the meeting, go to https://gomeet.itap.purdue.edu/controldatabase/
Mark Renz, University of Wisconsin, "New online tool for invasive plant management available", Updated: May 1, 2012
The Environment Report provides a weekly program service of environmental news and information to public radio stations around the country. Currently, more than 160 stations are airing Environment Report material.
Archive highlights include:
Report: Pipeline Laws Inadequate
Show date: 05-01-2012
Host: Rebecca Williams
Lead in Garden Products & Loosestrife Beetles
Show date: 05-03-2012
Host: Rebecca Williams
Michigan Environmental Council’s response to Consumers Energy statements on Michigan-made renewable energy
Statement by Consumers Energy spokesperson Daniel Bishop:
"There's reasonable green renewable programs like this one [current 10% requirement], and then there are far-fetched, unreasonable, costly renewable energy concepts that would cause harm to the
Michigan environment, and that's what [the proposed ballot initiative to require 25 percent renewable electricity by 2025] would do." (MLIVE.com)
We are baffled by the statement that renewable energy would cause harm to Michigan’s environment. Last year, the Michigan Environmental Council commissioned a report that estimated that Michigan’s nine oldest coal plants cause $1.5 billion in health care costs and damages to Michigan residents. Those costs did not even include the impacts of mercury emissions and their impacts on human health and wildlife.
The statement also contradicts their own website, which states, “Environmentally friendly and naturally replenished, renewable energy is produced by resources, such as wind, biomass, landfill gas, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric plants”.
Consumers Energy also fails to explain why renewable energy is “costly”, at the same time they are requesting to raise rates by over $120 million this year to pay for upgrades to at coal plants and cover the rising cost of fossil fuel. They fail to talk about the 38% increase in the cost of coal from 2010 to 2011 for Michigan ratepayers, or the fact that coal costs have doubled in just the last seven years. Michigan now exports $1.8 billion each year just to buy coal.
In contrast, Consumers Energy this week was given approval to drop its renewable energy surcharge to 52 cents per month for residential users – a 79 percent decrease since 2008.
The 25% by 2025 proposal would continue our transition to cleaner energy and would follow the lead of 20 other states that now have renewable energy goals or standards above 20%, including Minnesota,
Illinois, Iowa and Ohio. The standard would require an additional 1.5% of our electricity to come from renewable energy each year, the same pace which has been creating jobs in Michigan since 2009 under
Michigan Environmental Council News Release, May 2, 2012.
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