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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.

Transportation for Michigan’s Odyssey 2012 drew hundreds of supporters and interested persons to the three-day public transportation journey from Detroit to Grand Rapids to Traverse City in late March. The Odyssey called attention to the strengths and needs of Michigan’s skeletal public transportation systems, and renewed the call for a Southeast Michigan Transit Authority. MEC was a key coordinator of the event.

The Michigan Environmental Council launched a blog, Michigan Distilled, to rave reviews. Or, at least, a generally warm response. Initial topics included panning a reckless attempt to remove the ban on landfilled yard waste, and a primer on climate vs. weather that was instructive during March’s unprecedented hot spell.

Stable rates
A new report validated Michigan’s move toward renewable energy and efficiency. The Michigan Public Service Commission reported that 2011 prices for electricity from renewable energy was significantly lower than for a new coal-fired power plant. And Michigan’s efficiency programs met energy needs at a cost less than one-fifth of new coal. That tired old mantra that clean energy is too expensive? Not true.

Cracked bell: Yard wasted
Legislators doing the bidding of Michigan’s landfill industry convinced the Michigan House to pass a reversal of Michigan’s ban on yard waste in landfills. The measure, if passed and signed into law, would bankrupt Michigan’s compost businesses and remove a value-added Michigan product (compost) from the economy. Boo. Hiss.
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