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RE: E-M:/ How About 20% Renewable Energy by 2008?

Bill’s points are quite legitimate, but step back a moment -- NO ONE else in Michigan, especially not our Legislature, can claim to have made as much of a commitment nor as much progress as Grand Rapids and Mayor Heartwell.  Ann Arbor is making some serious commitments and a variety of cities and at least one township have committed to become “Cool Cities” (see http://coolcities.us/ ).  There are going to be transitional steps needed, mistakes made in choice of alternative and renewable sources of power, but inaction is the worst of all worlds, and that is where we are today in way too many places.  There are even still people in the Legislature who want us to believe that some forms of coal for electric generation should be considered renewable -- maybe that goes along with bringing back dinosaurs.


Mayor Heartwell is not only personally committed to winning this fight against climate change, he is working at the state level as well to push these leaders to get moving.  Thanks to Dave Holtz for pointing out what is going on in Grand Rapids -- yes, it is not perfect, but let that community that has done more be the one to complain!  We need some healthy competition among Michigan communities to see who can take us forward toward a real sound energy future in the best, and fastest way. 


Anne Woiwode, State Director

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

(517) 484-2372


From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net] On Behalf Of William Tobler
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 9:49 AM
To: 'enviro-mich'
Subject: Re: E-M:/ How About 20% Renewable Energy by 2008?


I should modify my previous statment:  the burning of alcohol fuels is not carbon neutral, just "apparently" renewable, although I dispute that claim in the long run

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 9:41 AM

Subject: Re: E-M:/ How About 20% Renewable Energy by 2008?


It would be good to see more details on this.  For example:


1) the burning of alternative fuels may be close to carbon neutral, but the production of those fuels is not (this is one of those cradle to grave issues that I mentioned before)

2) What means did they achieve the 20% generation of municipal power from renewable resources.  The burning of trash is considered to be renewable. Trash incinerators don't exactly have a good reputation.  Nor do tire burners.  They are renewable, but the combustion is largely carbon sourced

----- Original Message -----

From: David Holtz

Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 8:25 AM

Subject: E-M:/ How About 20% Renewable Energy by 2008?

While state House Democrats timidly offer up modest 10% renewable energy requirements, and Senate Republicans can't break their addiction to coal and want even weaker renewable energy legislation, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, in his State of the City address, reports on what the City of Grand Rapids has ALREADY accomplished on the clean energy front: 

* 20% of municipal power is generated with renewable resources. 

* A 10% reduction in municipal energy consumption since Heartwell took office

* 32% of city-owned vehicles operate using alternative fuels for all but the coldest winter months

* hybrid busses introduced into The Rapid's fleet

*The City Commission has committed to build only LEED-certified municipal buildings in the future. LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a green-building standard.

* LEED standards have been incorporated in Grand Rapids' zoning ordinance

So, Grand Rapids has already doubled the amount of energy from renewable sources that the Democrats are proposing in their energy bills and nearly doubled the energy efficiency savings called for in the Dem bills.  And Grand Rapids goes beyond all that with alternative fuels and LEED-only buildings.