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President Trump tours hurricane-ravaged parts of Florida. Also on the Tuesday rundown: We examine whether the U.S. spending too much to guard confederate cemeteries; and the spotlight is on mental health during National Children’s Health Month.

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Report: Clean Energy Requires Clear Action in Michigan

PHOTO: Supporters of clean-energy expansion say now is the time to raise the bar for Michigan, where wind technology has advanced and the cost has decreased. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
PHOTO: Supporters of clean-energy expansion say now is the time to raise the bar for Michigan, where wind technology has advanced and the cost has decreased. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
October 15, 2013

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan is on track to meet Governor Rick Snyder's mandate which requires utility providers to reach 10 percent renewable energy by 2015, and while that is good news, the draft report on the situation also finds that the state could go much further. In response to Snyder's 2013 address on Energy and the Environment, the Michigan Public Service Commission held a series of meetings across the state and considered input from experts in order to put together the report.

Given the state's resources, the report finds that Michigan could be getting 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035. That's triple the current goal of 10 percent, and according to Anne Woiwode, Michigan director of the Sierra Club, it's time for Michigan to raise the bar.

"When we know the detrimental impact that coal in particular has on climate change and community health, it is surprising that we are this far behind many other states," she stated.

Wednesday is the final day for the public to comment on the report, which can be found at Michigan.gov/energy. Snyder is expected to use the report and comments to develop an updated energy policy for Michigan.

The report also finds no technical barriers to increasing the renewable portfolio standard, and that the cost to develop renewable sources has decreased dramatically. Woiwode said however that the Snyder administration needs to contrast that with the aging infrastructure of Michigan's fossil-fuel plants.

She asked: "Do the utilities simply prop them up with more pollution controls, or do we switch to cleaner energy sources that make much more sense?"

Michigan voters turned down last year's ballot proposal which would have amended the state's constitution with a 25 percent renewable-energy standard by 2025. Two additional environmental reports are expected to be released in the next few weeks, with final versions all sent to the governor in early November.

That draft report is at Michigan.gov.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI