Status of Solar Power in Michigan

The single most important thing we could do for solar power in Michigan is remove the cap on net metering.

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Michigan’s solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the state accounting for over 10,000 jobs. This could double in the next two years if we just get out of the way. Michigan’s inconsistent solar policies are keeping solar installers from investing in new employees, trucks, buildings, leases, advertising, equipment and more.

The solar industry has been fighting the utility company lobbing efforts for the last several years. Initially, it had been to keep a fair net metering policy. Now they have to fight the utilities against the .5% cap on residential net metering. This .5% cap allows the utility companies to limit their residential customer to only enough solar to offset ½ of 1% off the utility company’s load. Continue reading “Status of Solar Power in Michigan”

Peoples’ Climate March, April 29

The Peoples’ Climate March in Washington, DC on April 29 is a national event which the Sierra Club is supporting. For details, see https://peoplesclimate.org/.

Buses from the Detroit Metro area to the Peoples’ Climate March are being organized by Andrew Sarpolis. For details about cost and schedule, download the flyer here. Contact Andrew at andrew.sarpolis@sierraclub.org or (248) 924-4857 if you want to reserve a seat.

If you don’t have time or money to go to Washington, there’s also a local event. The program starts promptly at noon on April 29 at the Charles h Wright museum of African American History, 315 East Warren Avenue in Detroit. The march to Peck Park in Detroit (Brush and Frederick Street) begins from the museum at 12:45 pm. At Peck Park, “The Future of Detroit is NOW” rally starts at 2:00 pm, ends at 4:00 pm.

DAPL – Profits over (Poor) People Exposed

Mark Paul, a postdoctoral associate at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, has written an economic analysis of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that deserves to be widely circulated and read. here are some excerpts:

“While the pipeline was originally scheduled to cross the Missouri River closer to Bismarck, authorities decided there was too much risk associated with locating the pipeline near the capital’s drinking water. They decided instead to follow the same rationale used by Lawrence Summers, then the chief economist of the World Bank, elucidated in an infamous memo stating “the economic logic of dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.” That same logic holds for the low wage counties and towns in the United States. The link between environmental quality and economic inequality is clear—corporations pollute on the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable …”

and

“As the Federal Water and Pollution Control Act makes clear, water quality should “protect the public health.” Period. Clean water and clean air should not be something Americans need to purchase, rather they should be rights guaranteed to all.”

Read the whole article at: http://triplecrisis.com/dapl-doesnt-make-economic-sense/

How Many Flints?

At least 3000, according to one report that is referenced in Farron Cousins’ summary of America’s water crisis. That is, there are at least 3000 places in America, cities or neighborhoods in larger cities, where the measured levels of lead in drinking water is at least double the levels measured in Flint.

Flint was indeed the event that brought public attention to lead poisoning, but the issue is much, much more widespread. This particular information comes from an extensive and well-illustrated article published by Reuters.

As bad as that is, it’s just part of the bad news. America has about 1.2 million miles of lead water service lines. They have a service life of about 75 years, and most are at or approaching that age. The estimate to replace – around $1 trillion, or close to $3000 for every man, woman and child in the country.

But wait, there’s more. Continue reading “How Many Flints?”

Social Justice and the Environment

There’s a longish article in The Atlantic with interesting insights into social justice and the environmental movement. I’m not sure yet what I think about it. There are certainly some elements that I agree with. At any rate, it’s entirely worth reading. Once I have some time to think it over, I’ll probably put my reaction in the comments section. I hope others do as well.