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Bell ringers! Environmental successes won in recent weeks

In each issue of the Michigan Environmental Report, we celebrate accomplishments by MEC and member groups.

We’re energized!
Michigan passed its first energy efficiency program in more than a decade, along with its first-ever renewable energy standard this summer. The programs, along with important planning tools to help guide a smarter energy future for the state, will help ensure that Michigan is a player in renewable energy development. It will also, through the efficiency programming, help keep rates for homeowners and businesses from skyrocketing. ?

Water win!
Congress overwhelmingly passed the Great Lakes Compact, and President George W. Bush signed it in October. The Compact is an important protection against large-scale diversion of Great Lakes water and the culmination of years of negotiation and cooperation among eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces. ?

Court victory!
A long-awaited state energy code, requiring homebuilders to use modern energy efficiency measures in new home construction, is in effect following an October ruling by an Ingham County Circuit Court judge. The judge ruled in favor of MEC and other litigants and against the Michigan Home Builders Association, which had sought to block the code. The winners are future ratepayers and the environment, which will see lower bills and less pollution and greenhouse gasses, respectively.

Cracked bell! ? Drill, silly, drill!
Former Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Russ Harding, now with the free market think tank Mackinac Center for Public Policy, advocated risky drilling for the specks of oil and gas underneath our world-class Great Lakes in a September Detroit News column. At the same time, he was opining against the state’s renewable energy standard and failing to support energy efficiency programming. Mr. Harding gets high marks for consistency. And a failing grade for forward thinking.
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