Monday, June 13, 2011

Michigan Map Buttons and Other Things...

Michigan map buttons. Big at the Artists Market.

Looking for redistricting maps? That wasn't the intention of this post, but since teh Google is picking it up because I used the words "Michigan Map", here they are:

Proposed Michigan House
Proposed Michigan Senate
Proposed Michigan Congressional

Good stories from the past week or so. Some local, some national, some international... and then back to energy, as always.

  • Kathy Barks Hoffman lays out the GOP war on Michigan's public workers, and provides a summary of the details here. Add up the damage: "Even though the governor's not saying Michigan should be a right-to-work state, essentially when you combine these bills with the emergency manager legislation that passed, you don't need to be a right-to-work state because they've taken away so many collective bargaining rights." Not to mention the demonization that will keep the best and the brightest from considering public service. This Kos/NBC story tells on how this is happening all over the country - go read.

  • John Lindstrom writes the must-read column of the year about Michigan's budget troubles during the deep recession in the early 80's. Homeless sleeping in the Capitol galleries. I did not remember that. Makes the Mike and Andy show seem tame. (OK, not really, but it is an eye-opener. Anyone got the story on what happened in the Depression?)

  • Paul Krugman has been on a roll concerning the GOP plan for eliminating Medicare. Start here, and read back. Total smackdowns, all great.

  • Inside GM's "War Room" after the earthquake in Japan. Scarier than you thought.

  • More GM news: The Volt is now being offered in all 50 states. Lowered the price too. And GM's venture capital group is investing $6 million in Proterra's electric buses, already being tested in California. These babies can recharge in 10 minutes - important for next-generation battery development.

  • Then again, Volvo is working on a wireless charger for cars - and the hope is that someday the inductive technology can be integrated into the roadways. That would be cool.

  • GVSU just completed a study on off-shore wind turbines, looking at visibility and sound, and found "no evidence that they harm or help the local tourism industry". Some people stay away, some people come to see them. Wash. Next up, wind tests on the lake.

  • Look out, here comes South Korea into the renewable energy business. Currently at 1.2 percent of the market now, they are shooting for 18 percent by 2030, and hope to create 1.5 million jobs. And here we are, getting ready to sign one of those nifty free trade agreements with them... * sigh *.

  • China is (supposedly) ending its subsidies for its turbine manufacturers, considered a victory for US trade - but go read the Guardian story on how in the span of six short years, they went from 90% imported wind equipment, to 90% Chinese-made wind equipment for domestic needs. They feel they don't need subsidies anymore. Key lede: "The United States claimed victory this week in a trade dispute with China over wind industry subsidies, but its manufacturers' and unions' celebrations will be short-lived unless Washington matches Beijing's commitment to renewable energy." Yup.

  • And on that note, the New York Times reports that the "U.S. Is Falling Behind in the Business of Green". Tough story to read. Thank your gridlocked Congress for this - and pray we get it right in 2012. I hope it won't be too late.

    That's all for now...