Monday, June 23, 2008

Feeling My Pain

... are the people in Midland. I've been talking about this all year, and no one seems to give a damn. (well, some people do - but you catch my drift)

While we are skeptical of some of the numbers that are being bandied about by the supporters of wind and solar production projects in Michigan, we are surprised that few people are even interested in listening to presentations about how alternative energy will play a growing part in the energy mix in Michigan as we look to the future.

Only about 20 people attended a "We Can Solve It" town hall forum Wednesday evening to hear presenters talk about the opportunities in Michigan - especially in Mid-Michigan. The event, sponsored by the United Steelworkers Local 12075, deserved better attendance. There were no comments to a story published in the Midland Daily News on-line edition.

We find that surprising, and troubling.

Yeah, me too. But then again, they didn't listen to Jimmy Carter either and look where we are now.

They scream about jobs, well, here is an industry that is creating jobs. They scream about global warming, well, here is the (partial) answer to that as well. They scream about wars for oil, and here is what we can do to reduce our dependence on oil. Win-win-win, no-brainer, obvious situation... and Michigan is going to lose out because our legislature won't act.

Already the House of Representatives has passed legislation that will require the state to buy 10 percent of its power needs from alternative energy sources. The bill has not passed the Senate.

And some people, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm, want that figure to be as high as 25 percent by 2025.

Maine is at 40%, and California will have a ballot proposal this year that might require 50%. We argue over a lousy 10, and "experts" are saying it's not strong enough.

The editorial said that Michigan relies on 83% of it's power from coal and nukes as of now - and we are going to need more. The only way to reduce this number is alternatives and efficiency/conservation.

Now they are talking "after the election". Like we have all the time in the world to wait.

And people wonder why I seem so frustrated.