Michigan’s New Approach to Renewable Energy?

Gita Subramony for Zondits, December 12, 2014

Michigan currently has renewable and efficiency goals for the state. These goals require that by 2015 10% of electricity should come from renewable sources such as wind and solar, and utilities are complying with this standard. Recently, some lawmakers tried to circumvent these rules. House Bill 5205, introduced by Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton), proposed including the burning of waste material (including tires and railroad ties) as a viable form of “renewable” energy. If the revision is approved, the state will likely suffer due to increased pollution and declining air quality. Maybe Michigan should stick to clean energy like solar and wind (paired, of course, with energy efficiency)? Just a thought.


Michigan House approves expanded list of renewable materials, including burning tires

Crain’s Detroit Business, December 5, 2014

The Michigan House got on the renewable energy bandwagon in a controversial way by approving House Bill 5205 in a 63-46 vote and adding some hazardous industrial waste to its list of renewable energy raw materials.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, would include burning tires and railroad ties as forms of renewable energy. Read the House Fiscal Analysis.

Nesbitt said in a statement that converting the waste materials into energy can be done safely with new antipollution technologies and without a danger to the public health.

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