As heard on Friday Edition, 9 a.m. Eastern, Aug. 31, 2012, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM …
Michigan voters will be able to vote for more renewable energy in November.
This week, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers approved ballot language to increase Michigan’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent by 2025. The current standard is 10 percent by 2015.
Supporters, with a group called Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs, say the measure will help rein in energy costs, provide incentives for using Michigan equipment, and create jobs in the state.
The proposal also will help protect public health and allow Michigan to catch up with other states, which already have higher standards for generating percentages of their energy with renewable sources like wind and solar.
A recent study by Michigan State University economics says the upcoming ballot proposal would create at least 74,000 Michigan jobs in construction, operations and maintenance.
The 25 by 2025 measure would “require electric utilities to provide at least 25 percent of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources, which are wind, solar, biomass and hydropower, by 2025.”
The proposal also would limit rate increases to achieve compliance to 1 percent.
2. Central Michigan University says conservation measures to reduce energy use are paying off.
The university, located in Mount Pleasant, has had positive results in the last fours with reducing its carbon footprint, officials say.
In fiscal year 2008, CMU generated about 87,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
In fiscal year 2011, the university generated about 82,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a reduction of about 6,000 tons, or 7 percent.
During the same period, the campus grew by about 91,000 square feet, or 1.6 percent.
The conservation measures have included adding temperature control valves to residence halls and other academic buildings, and installing energy efficient lighting.
Also, CMU has increased the amount of electricity it purchases annually that is generated by renewable sources.
The university also is using natural gas for more its generation, in place of coal-fired sources.
CMU has adopted energy efficient building design standards for all renovations and construction on campus.
3. Bay County has been designated as a primary natural disaster area for drought and excessive heat conditions.
So has Saginaw County, Midland County and every other county in the state.
Synder says the designation will provide aid to Michigan farmers for crop losses due to the hot and dry conditions.
Qualified farm operators are now eligible for low interest emergency loans from the federal government to cover some or all of their losses.
According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, crop losses from this year’s extreme weather have been significant.
Hay production also has been impacted, which could hurt the lifestock industry.