Thanks to the Michigan Legislature, schools in 29 counties of Michigan have just been notified of an opportunity to tap into state funds to show the difference a dime can make in their efforts to serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans to students. Michigan legislators expanded the popular 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program from $250,000 in general funds last year to $375,000 for the upcoming school year; and added a third, six-county region in Washtenaw in southeast Michigan.
Attorney General Bill Schuette was quoted again this week with his strongest language yet about decommissioning Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac. Disagreeing with an assertion that the pipeline could last “indefinitely”, Schuette called for a “comprehensive plan … to drive the timeline for the (pipeline’s) closure”. Yet in the same statement he suggested the pipeline could be replaced with a tunnel under the Straits, a risky and expensive alternative that ignores the long-term solution of getting oil to Michigan from other existing pipelines and, ultimately, reducing our demand for oil and transitioning our economy to run on cleaner fuel sources.
The “Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act” of 2008 has been a tremendous success. But incredibly, there are politicians at the Capitol who are considering eliminating the Energy Optimization policy -not because it isn’t working, but because they don’t like the idea of government “mandates.” Repealing the current Energy Optimization policy would instead be eliminating the most effective energy efficiency policy Michigan has ever had.
Clean energy advocates weren’t expecting a whole lot from Gov. Snyder on energy issues during his State of the State address. But we were at least hopeful, given the pre-speech scuttlebutt, that he would say something substantive and positive about them. That didn’t happen. Snyder literally spent six seconds on energy. His address was a missed opportunity for a very positive shout-out about the energy work done over the past year.
MLUI and a number of community leaders in northern Michigan penned this letter to Gov. Rick Snyder to thank him for his work on energy over the past year and urge action in 2014 on a clean energy future for the state.
Gov. Rick Snyder will be presenting his annual State of the State Address on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. The three major topics he plans to focus on are mental health, seniors, and ENERGY! The speech offers us an opportunity, given our interest in having a positive impact on state policy that supports the good work we are engaged with in northwest Michigan, to publicly acknowledge this landmark event and provide collective feedback both before and after the address.