Consumers Proposes Coal-Free Plan, Alliance Plans for Beach Cleanup

For Friday, July 2, 2021

audio archive

Solar and wind in Germany. Credit: Karsten Würth on Unsplash

1 – Consumers Energy has proposed to stop using coal as a fuel source for electricity by 2025 —15 years sooner than planned. 

The company says its proposal would make Consumers one of the first utilities in the nation to go coal-free.

The plan requires regulatory approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission

The proposal also includes a blueprint to “meet Michigan’s energy needs while protecting the environment for future generations.” 

By 2040, Consumers says it would use 90 percent clean energy resources; build nearly 8,000 megawatts of solar energy; stay on a path to achieve net zero carbon emissions; and save customers about $650 million.

If approved, the updated 2021 Clean Energy Plan would speed closure of Karn units 3 and 4 at the Consumers plant in Bay County’s Hampton Township. 

2 – The Alliance for the Great Lakes is already planning for its big Adopt-a-Beach cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 18. 

Thousands of people participate in September Adopt-a-Beach every year, including along Saginaw Bay. 

September Adopt-a-Beach is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, with millions of people caring for their local shorelines all over the world.

In 2019, Adopt-a-Beach volunteers cleaned up more than 50,000 pounds of litter from their local beaches. 

Ninety percent of it was plastic. 

You can find a cleanup near you, or organize one of your own, at adopt.great lakes.org.

More on those 2019 beach cleanup stats: 

The Alliance says plastic has consistently, for years, been the most common type of litter found on Great Lakes beaches. 

It’s important to keep plastic pollution out of the Great Lakes. That’s because once it’s in the water or on the beach, plastic never really goes away. It just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.  

Once in the water, these microplastics can absorb toxic chemicals and be mistaken for food by small fish and wildlife. 

Microplastics have been found in drinking water and even beer, the Alliance notes. 

After plastic pieces, the most common items found during Adopt-a-Beach cleanups were cigarettes and filters, foam pieces, plastic bottle caps, food wrappers, straws and stirrers, cigar tips, glass pieces, other packaging and finally … metal bottle caps. 

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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