Energy Attitudes, Spring Migration, and Clean Water Rules

1 – When it comes to energy, what’s more important – the cost, or environmental impact?

On average, consumers believe home energy bills would have to nearly double before they’d be forced to make lifestyle changes to save on costs, according to a new University of Michigan survey.

The U-M Energy Survey was conducted for the first time in October 2013. It also found that consumers believe home energy bills will rise more than the cost of gasoline over the next five years.

According to federal data, the average U.S. household spent about $2,000 last year on home energy, including electricity and other household fuels. The average household spent about $900 more per year on gasoline.

In the survey, more people also expressed concern about environmental damage from energy than they did about the cost of energy.

sandhill crane flickr kates

A sandhill crane. Credit: Phil Kates.

2 – Spring is here, but you wouldn’t know it based on the weather.

However, recent sightings at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge indicate that the spring migration has started.

Several types of birds have arrived at the refuge in Saginaw County, including the Turkey Vulture, Killdeer, Song Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Rusty Blackbird, and Common Grackle.

The songs of the Red-winged Blackbird have even been heard, and several waterbird species have arrived, including more than 40 Sandhill Cranes.

You can find bird sighting reports on the refuge’s Facebook page.

3 – A long-awaited federal rule would help protect the Great Lakes.

The Obama Administration has released a proposed rule to clarify which waters of the United States are protected from pollution and destruction by the Clean Water Act.

The National Wildlife Federation says the rule would be a big step forward in the effort to restore the overall health of the lakes, along with its streams and wetlands.

The rule, proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, would give the federal government regulatory authority over millions of acres of wetlands, and about 2 million miles of streams, according to The Washington Post.

Read more at the EPA’s website.

- Mr. Great Lakes, as heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.

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