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Re: Re: E-M:/ TRI Data - Utilities top the list

Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com


Thank you Tony Defalco and NWR for your accurate observations. I recieved a 
couple emails from state officials who refused to identify themselves 
regarding my post. 

Murray Dailey

Enviro-Mich message from "TONY DEFALCO" <DEFALCO@nwf.org>

We completely agree with James Clift's response, and find Bryan Harrison's 
hostility most interesting.  We would expect a response to MEC's TRI news 
release from a utility representative, since that industry was targeted in 
the release, but Bryan took it as an attack on the DEQ! How lucky the utility 
industry is to have such a strong advocate in DEQ.  It would be great if the 
DEQ could be as supportive of those they are required to protect by law: the 
general public.

Julie Metty and Tony DeFalco
NWF's water quality project

>>> "Bryan Harrison" <HARRISOB@exec.state.mi.us> 03/22/00 01:01PM >>>
Enviro-Mich message from "Bryan Harrison" <HARRISOB@exec.state.mi.us>


I think we all can agree that working for more efficient production and 
manufacturing methods and cleaner, greener generation of energy is a 
admirable and ultimate goal.  In fact, we give credit to pollution prevention 
practices and regulation as being responsible for the DECREASE in our 

While I know there is an innate inclination to shoot off a negative press 
release every time DEQ tells a little good news - please try to resist.  
After all, isn't the whole point of having a Toxic Release Inventory being 
able to determine if trends of yucky stuff are increasing or decreasing?  
Well, they are DECREASING.  Come on people now, smile on your 

But wait, you retort, "its only an insignificant ten-percent reduction!!"  I 
calmly reply, "If it were a ten percent increase, would that be insignificant 
as well?"  

So here is the story.  The economy is growing yet nasty stuff being spewed is 
DECREASING.  Only a pessimist (or an organized group of pessimists) would 
frown upon hearing such news.  

Viva La Resistance

Bryan Harrison

>>> James Clift <jamesmec@voyager.net> 03/22 12:32 PM >>>
Bryan Harrison wrote:

> Could you please provide an estimate of the cost of replacing 80% of our 
electricity generating sources?  Over what period of time is replacement 
advocated vs. what is practical?

First, I like to point out that 80% of our energy comes from old, dirty coal 
plants because they have not had to update their pollution control equipment 
and because our current
system makes no distinction between dirty power and cleaner forms of energy.

The Michigan Environmental Council has advocated that old, dirty coal-fired 
power plants should be required to meet modern pollution emission standards 
(those required by new plants
built today). Our initial proposal was to phase-in the requirements over the 
next seven years.

The key is that 80% of our plants do not need to be replaced.  We envisioned 
a scenario under which utilities would meet the standards through conversion 
of boilers to natural gas,
the addition of pollution control equipment and replacement of some of their 
oldest facilities with new combined-cycle natural gas plants.

You must also understand that many of our coal plants have already been paid 
for by the ratepayers.  And companies are lining up to build new natural gas 
plants that they believe can
supply electricity at the same costs as the coal plant.  Under that scenario, 
the total costs to Michigan ratepayers would be zero. The key is creating a 
competive market for new

The EPA, when it proposed the reduction in nitrogen oxides emissions 
estimated that addition pollution control equipment could result in 
residential rates increases in the 2-4%

This amount is low, especially when you take into consideration that the cost 
of electric generation goes beyond what a customer pays in their bill.  The 
pollution from electric
generation imposes substantial health care costs on Michigan's residents that 
are not included in a customer's bill.  These costs fall heaviest on families 
with members that suffer
from asthma, other respiratory illnesses or cardiovascular disease.

In 1990, a study of these costs was conducted by Pace University Center for 
Environmental Studies for the New York State Energy Research and Development 
Authority and the U.S.
Department of Energy.   The study reviewed all the research conducted before 
1990 that attempted to put a price tag on the environmental and 
health-related costs from the pollution
generated from power plants.  The authors admit that this is not an exact 
science, but an attempt to quantify the magnitude of the problem that is 
currently being ignored.  Their
figures when applied to Michigan's emission were over $1.5 billion annually.

So I think it is important to look at costs, but to also look at benefits.  
We think it makes sense from both an economic and environmental point of view.

I note that in Governor Engler's Michigan Relative Risk Analysis Project 
(1992), that
"Energy Production and Consumption: Practices and Consequences" * was rated 
in the highest category of environment risk by the State Agency Committee, 
the Citizen Committee and the
Scientist Committee.  The reason given for high rating was that:

"The inefficient use of energy and the deleterious by-products of production 
and consumption threaten the economic security and environmental quality of 
the state".

 The section on energy concludes by stating:

 "It is particularly important that state and federal energy policies 
appropriately consider environmental effects of energy production and 

The administration might want to dust off this report.

James Clift, Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste. 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 487-9539

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