State limit on emissions cheaper than plant caps

By SHRUTI SARIPALLI
Capital News Service

LANSING — Michigan can save money in the move towards clean energy by choosing
a path that limits the amount of carbon dioxide produced by power plants, says a new electric industry report. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a non-lobbying national research institute, reports that this is possible due to the expected closures of coal-based power plants in the next 15 years. By the year 2030, Michigan’s electric utilities have to cut emissions by almost 32 percent of their 2005 levels under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The institute’s report explores two options to make that happen. The cheapest one is to limit the number of tons of carbon dioxide produced statewide each year, an option called the mass-based pathway, said David Young, project manager at the institute.

Michigan is playing catch-up in the recycling game

By Chris Hung
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

With Michigan still trailing behind other Great Lakes states in recycling rates, plans in Meridian Township are in place to ensure it does not get left behind. An estimate projects that $435 million of recyclable material annually goes to the landfill, instead of recycling facilities in Michigan. “Michigan is not stellar at recycling,” Recycling and Energy Coordinator LeRoy Harvey explained. “Meridian is no exception, but efforts are in place to expand our recycling program.”

A current, updated goal is in place to bring Michigan’s rate of recycling up to 30 percent, to compete with neighboring states. While Michiganders recycle up to 90 percent of all their bottles and cans, it only makes up about 2 percent of all waste.

Fourth graders will get field trips to federal parks

By KAYLA SMITH
Capital News Service

LANSING — Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of 186 federal parks that will split the $1.1 million National Park Foundation grant to set up field trip programs.

The $4,820 grant secured last fall will get local kids educated through public parks, said Melissa O’Donnell, the interagency education specialist at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Hiawatha National Forest. The money was raised through a crowd funding campaign, supported by the tag #FindYourPark on Twitter. The foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids program supports the White House youth initiative called Every Kid in a Park. The field trips give elementary school kids a chance to experience public land. National Park Service officials say parks and public lands offer kids great opportunities to get their feet wet while collecting water samples, studying wildlife in its natural habitat or exploring where history happened.