Environment Picture

Bell ringers! Environmental successes won in recent weeks

Hello governor
MEC staffers were humbled that Gov. William Milliken was a last-minute RSVP for our Awards Event July 10. Milliken flew from Traverse City to Willow Run Airport to honor his biographer, Dave Dempsey, who received MEC’s Helen & William Milliken Distinguished Service Award (see related story). There’s a reason we named the award after the governor and his late wife. Both of them—as well as Dempsey—made significant and ongoing contributions to protection Michigan for future generations.

Wi-Fi on board
Amtrak trains in Michigan will soon carry onboard Wi-Fi after the Michigan Transportation Commission approved a contract for the service in August. The connection will be provided to passengers at no additional cost and should be available in early 2014, according to Amtrak officials. The service is one more step in making Michigan’s transportation system truly diverse and accommodating.

Bicycles too
Oh yeah, bicycles are now welcome on some Amtrak trains. The Blue Water (Detroit/Chicago) line trains #364 and #365 were slated to start accepting bikes for an additional $10 charge on Sept. 6. Amtrak expects that other trains and lines will be offering the bike service in the near future. A gradual, but important, step toward fully integrating our transportation systems!

But we told you!
Remember how critics predicted that renewable electricity would bankrupt Michigan with high costs back in 2008 when the Michigan Legislature passed our renewable energy standard? DTE Energy is dropping its $3 renewable surcharge to 43 cents. Consumers Energy may eliminate their surcharge altogether. The biggest reason is the continuing drop in the cost to produce electricity from Michigan wind turbines. We won’t say we told you so.
-Hugh McDiarmid
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