Nearly a year after advocates raised transparency concerns over the hiring of two companies to study Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, the state has canceled its contract with one of the firms, citing a conflict of interest.
Advocates say recent regulatory changes in Michigan could spur more solar energy development from independent producers and ensure existing renewable energy generators are paid fair prices from utilities for their power.
While the bill is unlikely to pass, Michigan Democrats say a proposal for a 50 percent renewable energy standard is intended to “set up a new frontier of where we should be looking”
The idea of the Building Operator Certification program, which is available in 36 states across the country and throughout the Midwest, is to arm facility managers with knowledge about energy efficiency.
Michigan’s two largest utilities announced separate plans this week to increase their commitments to renewable energy based on the continued transition away from coal and in response to customer demand.
Across several townships and three counties in Michigan’s “Thumb” region last week, voters rejected plans for specific wind projects and approved zoning changes that restrict future development.
Michigan is in line to receive $60.3 million for an “environmental mitigation trust,” which is meant to offset the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from vehicles involved with the case.
A $70 million upgrade to the Michigan State Capitol could include a geothermal heating and cooling system that is expected to pay for itself in less than a decade.
Advocates with the National Wildlife Federation say they’ve uncovered more oil and gas spills from Enbridge’s Line 5 than they previously thought, raising questions about how leaks are reported and whether there have been more. The group said Monday it has found at least 29 instances of oil and natural gas liquids spills totaling more than one million gallons over the course of the pipeline’s 64-year history. That’s nearly double the amount the group previously thought had occurred. The 29 spills, which were mostly detected by the public and local government personnel rather than the company’s remote pipeline detection system, date back to 1968, according to a map of the data. The group also says its findings shed light on the history of Line 5’s inland path — which runs from northern Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario — while much of the attention has focused on the underwater section beneath the Straits of Mackinac.
Michigan officials are considering the need for a longer-term funding solution for the state’s oil and gas regulatory program as the recent drop in oil and gas prices have increasingly shifted oversight costs from the industry onto taxpayers.