Michigan has high capacity for producing biodiesel and ethanol. Both fuels can easily be made in Michigan as soy beans for biodiesel and corn for ethanol are two of the state's top five commodities. The production of both fuels provide Michigan farmers with an additional market for profit but an increase in the prices of soy beans and ethanol have hurt many state companies producing biodiesel or ethanol. Farmers and biofuel companies both benefit through the means of selling crops and producing fuel, but what fuel is best for Michigan?
In addition to alternative energy, there are other resources people can take advantage of: white roofs and white roads. Many people have negative feelings towards white roofs because black roofs have been the norm for houses across the country due to the beauty of a house. While white roofs may make some houses and buildings appear ugly, there are several advantages to white roofs which ancient civilizations knew well before us.
Wind turbine companies have the potential to create thousands of new jobs in Michigan while manufacturing and installing a final product that is energy efficient and environmental friendly. Companies in Michigan have been anxious to install their turbines and provide new jobs, but city laws and ordinances are preventing companies from pursuing their goals. Now there is another hurdle companies must face and that is local residents.
Energy and Environment
Interview with Lee Burton, Chair of Crossroads Group of The Sierra Club
Written by Devon Spaulding
Thursday, 25 April 2013 18:24
April 4, 2013 (7:30AM-8:11AM)
Devon: First of all could you tell me a little about yourself?
Lee: Well, I grew up in Michigan outside of Detroit went to the University of Michigan spent a while on where I was going to study ended up as a special education teacher and also a grade school teacher and spent career teaching in Heartland (MI) which isn't too far from Lansing. All of my life I've pretty much had in an interest in the outdoors and the environment. I did a lot of camping as a kid and working in summer camps. In my college years took up wilderness travel, like canoeing and backpacking. At some point along the way, while I was still a teacher, I found out that we had a local chapter of the Sierra Club called Crossroads Group and got involved with them. Now I am the group chair, so I am able to kind of give back, rather than just participate.
Each year an estimated 100 million tons of cargo are making port in commercial harbors off of our Great Lakes. The ability of ports/harbors to handle freighters and other boats are crucial to the economy, commercial shipping industry and tourism for coastline cities across Michigan as well as the seven other states that the lakes connect to. Annual studies have shown that the water levels of our Great Lakes harbors, ports, and channels are slowly falling. With Lake Michigan and Lake Huron reaching record lows as of 2013, the importance of finding a short and long-term solution is more prevalent than ever.
What is the cost of switching to cleaner energy? What is the cost not to? Proposal 3, which will be on the November 6th ballot, would require that 25% of Michigan's energy come from renewable sources by 2025. Costs to consider with this proposal include the cost to build and maintain the infrastructure to generate these cleaner energies, as well as the cost to continue using coal.
Interview with David Gard, Energy Program Director Michigan Environmental Council on Proposal 3
Written by Elizabeth Brajevich
Monday, 22 October 2012 21:03
Elizabeth Brajevich: Could you give me some information on what Michigan Environmental Council is doing to support Proposal 3?
David Gard: The primary thing we're doing right now is speaking engagements, so we're going around the state with different staff members, heading out-a lot of these things happen in the evenings when more people are available to attend them. It can be anything from a church congregation to, just the other day, I was up in Marquette in the Upper Peninsula at a group that was being hosted at the downtown library there. I was talking to some students at Northern Michigan University up there--we've had people pretty much all over the state wherever we can get an audience of even 10 or 15 people or more.
Renewable Energy Standards Across the Nation, Where does Michigan Stand?
Written by Elizabeth Brajevich
Monday, 01 October 2012 18:37
The "Big" 10? While the strength of their athletic teams is undeniable, none of the Big 10 states have the most competitive renewable energy standards. Proposition 3 would require that 25% of Michigan's energy be derived from renewable sources by 2025. Passes 25x 2025 would put Michigan at the top of the Big Ten, matching Minnesota's 25% renewable energy by 2025 Renewable Energy Standard (RES). Across the nation, renewable energy leaders include Maine with a target of 40% by 2017, New York with a target of 30% by 2015, California with a target of 33% by 2020 and Texas with a target of 10,000 Megawatts by 2020. Michigan would be the first state in the United States to amend its constitution by ballot initiative to include a Renewable Energy Standard. Other states have incorporated Renewable Energy Standards by statute.
The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College.
The thoughts, opinions, and positions represented herein are solely those of the participating students and in no way represent an official position or policy recommendation of Michigan State University.