Benefits of Proposal 3 – Why Vote Yes?
The TV attack ads are saying loudly “Vote No” but I’m going to “Yes” on Proposal 3. Here’s why.
Right now Michigan gets its electricity mainly by burning coal, which it imports from out of state for $1.5 billion a year. Proposal 3 will change this situation. It requires Michigan utilities to reduce their use of coal and invest to get 25% of Michigan electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable sources by 2025.
Half a billion dollars that we now send out of state to buy coal will become available to invest in Michigan. Michigan jobs will be created to construct, maintain, and produce parts for the new wind farms and solar facilities. An MSU study estimated 94,000 such jobs would be created. Once the investment in the new renewable facilities is completed, another study estimated the cost of electricity from renewables will be lower than the electricity from coal.
Substituting wind and solar for coal energy will reduce the amount of asthma and lung disease, the frequency of heart attacks, and the buildup of mercury in Michigan fish, which all are by-products of pollution from burning coal. Fewer poor kids will be walking around Michigan's urban neighborhoods with inhalers for their asthma.
The shift from coal burning to using renewable energy will also decrease the amount of C02 that our state puts into the atmosphere. Coal-generated C02 is one of Michigan’s major contributions to heating up the planet.
The main opposition to Proposal 3 comes from Michigan utilities, which are spending $34 million screaming bloody murder that Prop 3 will be too expensive. What they really mean is “Too expensive for us.” In fact, the Public Utilities Commission released data showing the project will cost the average consumer an extra $0.50 a month. Over the 13 years of the project that adds up to a total of ($0.50/mo)(12 mo) (13 yrs) = $78 which is affordable for most Michigan families. Furthermore, to protect the public from price gouging by the utilities, the proposal language caps how much the utilities can raise customer rates to pay for the investment at 1% a year. This cap will be in the Michigan constitution where the utilities and special interests can’t tamper with it.
President Clinton’s and Governor Milliken’s endorsements will help the proposal. It's a good deal for the Michigan public --- affordable clean energy, more investment and jobs in the state, and improved public health from less asthma and lung disease. Hopefully enough Michigan voters will see through the barrage of misinformation and pass it.
Bill Rittenberg, E. Lansing
Top Twelve Proposal 3 Questions
Michigan Sierra Club
1. What will Proposal 3 do?
Proposal 3 requires that a minimum 25 percent of Michigan’s electricity come from clean renewable sources including wind, solar, biomass and hydropower by 2025. The proposal explicitly states that utilities cannot raise electricity prices to comply with Proposal 3 by more than 1 percent in any given year. It has been projected that it will cost the average residential ratepayer about 50 cents a month to begin with, but in the long term will save ratepayers money.
2. Why put this in the constitution?
The Michigan Constitution is much different from our federal Constitution. It was designed to be a living document that reflects our values, and is designed to change with the times. That’s why it requires we vote every 16 years on whether to hold a convention to rewrite it.
There have been 69 amendments offered since the latest version was adopted in 1963. The people approved those 32 times and voted against them 37 times. Those amendments have addressed everything from exempting food from sales tax, to the minimum drinking age, to allowing stem cell research. Importantly, the voters always have the final say
A major advantage of putting 25 by 2025 in the Michigan Constitution is that utilities cannot use their political influence to sway the Legislature and bypass the consumer protection measures, such as the 1% cap on rates on any given year.
Right now, Michigan is locked into outdated and expensive energy sources like coal for our electricity. But the Legislature won’t act because they have sold out to the big oil and coal companies, DTE, Consumers Energy and their lobbyists. The Oakland Press said, “To reject the proposal just because it entails a state constitutional amendment just further empowers wealthy lobbyists like those working for the utility companies.”
3. Why are oil companies involved?
We use a small amount of oil to generate electricity. More importantly to oil companies, we spend over $500 million a year for diesel fuel to move the over 35 million tons of coal from Western states to Michigan to burn in our power plants. So transition to cleaner energy not only makes Michigan more energy independent, it makes the United States less reliant on oil from oversees.
4. What kinds of jobs are expected to be created by Proposal 3?
Proposal 3 specifically states that the legislature should enact incentives to encourage the use of Michigan workers and Michigan made goods. A Michigan State University study determined that Proposal 3 will create at least 74,000 Michigan jobs that can’t be outsourced. Construction jobs account for more than 30,000, and operation and maintenance more than 40,000.
There will be another 40,000 jobs related to manufacturing the parts required to build the renewable energy facilities. With Michigan’s manufacturing talent and know-how, Michigan could capture 50 percent of that manufacturing market, increasing the number of jobs to 94,000.
5. The Care for Michigan group claims that the cost of Proposal 3
will be more than $12 billion and cost families “thousands” of
dollars. Is that true?
These claims by the utilities are false. Michigan residents spend over $10 billion each year on electricity. Passage of Proposal 3 will result in investments of around $10.3 billion (CARE inflated that number) in Michigan by the utilities or private investors. Those costs are spread among four million customers and over the 25- year expected life of those assets.
The utilities also fail to subtract avoided costs from their total. For example, we spend $1.5 billion each year to buy imported coal. We’ll keep some of that money here, instead, which is a significant savings to Michigan residents and a significant offset to the renewable energy investment.
The language of Proposal 3 also puts a permanent cap on the cost of compliance with Proposal 3 at no more than 1% per year. Because it is in the Constitution it cannot be bypassed by the utilities or the legislature. That cap would limit the amount any family would pay to about $10 a year. A recent report projects that Proposal 3 will cost about half of that, or about 50 cents a month but will save money in the long term.
6. How can we count on power when the wind doesn’t blow and
the sun isn’t shining all the time?
That is not a problem for users because homes and businesses are connected to a regional electric grid that gets electricity from many sources. Existing ‘backup’ generating capacity – both within Michigan and elsewhere on the regional grid – is more than capable of filling short-term gaps in supply. Those other sources will be able to meet our needs when an insufficient amount of Michigan renewable energy is available. There are now five different states (Hawaii, Colorado, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota that are already producing more than 20% renewable energy. Grid operators in those states have had no trouble managing the variable load. As more and more renewable resources are added to the grid, the less variable they become overall.
7. Do we have enough wind and land to meet 25 by 2025?
Yes, and more. Michigan needs to build only 4,600 megawatts of electricity generation capacity from renewable energy. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Michigan needs to harness just 8% of the more than 54,000 MW of high-quality, land-based wind generation potential of the state. Michigan also has more sunny days than Germany, one of the world’s leading producers of solar energy.
8. How much renewable energy does Michigan currently use?
Michigan currently gets just 3.9 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Meanwhile other states are moving ahead, including Iowa, whose renewable energy use is at 23 percent, and Illinois, whose 25 percent by 2025 goal is saving businesses and families there $176 million, according to the Illinois Power Agency. Michigan currently gets 60 percent of its electricity from coal, all of which is imported from other states. Just to purchase coal, Michigan sends $1.5 billion a year – and the jobs it creates – to other states.
9. How will this improve public health?
Using more wind and solar energy will reduce pollution and give Michigan cleaner and healthier air and water. The dirty coal plants that provide 60 percent of Michigan’s electricity emit dangerous levels of mercury, sulfur dioxide and arsenic, which are linked to heart disease, childhood asthma, lung disease and premature death. That exacts a terrible emotional toll on families, and a financial toll that is reflected in higher health insurance premiums and medical costs. The Michigan Nurses Association endorses Proposal 3 because our children deserve a cleaner Michigan.
10. Are DTE residential customers treated differently?
DTE residential customers are currently paying $3 a month for renewable energy surcharge, but should only be paying $1.60 a month based on how much power they use (36% of the power, and paying 69% of the surcharge). Consumers Energy residential customers only pay 52 cents a month. Proposal 3 would eliminate the current system of per meter surcharges that creates this unfair treatment, immediately lowering the bills of DTE residential customers.
11. Why aren’t the utilities supporting Proposal 3?
For them it comes down to money and control. They make more money burning coal and want to continue to do so even though Michigan families are paying huge rate increases caused in part by the rising prices of coal delivered to Michigan. That cost has increased 71 percent in the last four years, Coal pollution also contributes to asthma attacks, respiratory illnesses and premature heart attacks. They oppose this ballot measure because they cannot control the voters like they are able to control the legislature.
12. Critics claim that Proposal 3 is not flexible enough. Is that true?
If Proposal 3 passes the legislature will pass implementing language to set the timeline for utilities to transition from the 10% currently required to the 25% which will be required by 2025. That timeline will be set with input from all interested parties. They are also required to establish incentives for Michigan workers and Michigan made parts and components to the renewable energy facilities used. If utilities have trouble meeting the interim standards the legislature will be able to change them. Under Proposal 3 if the costs are too high, utilities will be given longer to meet the standard to keep any potential increase in rates below 1%.
The proposal also leaves 75% of Michigan’s electric generation open-ended, giving utilities and regulators a relatively free hand at planning the new generation sources that we will need.
Report copies can be found at:
America’s Predatory Bank
Join the National Protest in Lansing
BANK OF AMERICA
Wednesday, May 9
- 11:30 a.m. Reutter Park, downtown Lansing
- 12:00 noon Bank of America downtown branch
201 Townsend Street
Bank of America
- The BA's reckless speculation and shady business practices fuelled the 2008 economic meltdown.
- Before the 2008 crash, low interest rates and lax lending standards allowed almost anyone to buy a house. The BA’s subsidiaries made billions worth of bad mortgages at inflated prices to borrowers who lacked the capacity to repay the loans. Committing apparent fraud, the BA hid the borrowers’ financial weakness in order to purchase taxpayer backed FHA insurance on the bad mortgages. When the borrowers defaulted and lost their homes, the BA collected the
insurance making a huge dishonest profit courtesy of you the taxpayer.
- With the 2008 market crash, the BA was effectively insolvent because of its reckless speculation. It received $44 billion in taxpayer TARP bailout funds to avoid going bankrupt.
- In the bailout agreement the BA promised to reduce the principal on mortgages to borrowers who were underwater. However, after the bailout the BA broke the agreement and avoided reducing the principal of most homeowners who qualified for assistance. Not receiving the promised reduction of principal, many of the borrowers were forced into default and foreclosure.
- The BA illegally and systematically falsified large numbers of mortgage documents in order to foreclose and evict homeowners. It illegally evicted them and sold their homes to avoid or minimize its losses from the market crash.
- In the March 2012 mortgage settlement with the 49 state Attorneys General, BA agreed to pay a total of $8.88 billion in partial compensation for these and other predatory and dishonest mortgage practices. In another legal settlement, the BA paid $410 million for its practice of deliberately delaying late payments notices to credit card holders who were in arrears in order to maximize its fee income. Many large, serious lawsuits are pending against this bank.
Move Your Money to a
Credit Union or Local Bank
Your tax dollars kept the BA afloat, but after the bailout it continued its predatory banking practices at the public expense. To add insult to injury, despite huge profits, it regularly pays no tax. From 2001-10 it made $11 million in campaign contributions to influence congress. It will do whatever it can get away with to make money, no matter what the effects on the public treasury, its customers, or homeowners.
Some Sources on Bank of America
“Four Whistleblowers Who Sounded the Alarm on Banks' Mortgage Shenanigans
” by Cora Currier
ProPublica, March 15, 2012
Kyle Lagow Complaint Case 1:09-cv-02040-RJD-JMA Document 1
filed 5/13/2009, U.S. District Court
for Eastern New York
Greg Mackler Complaint: Complaint for Violation of False Claims Act Case 1:11-cv-03270-SLT-RLM Document 1
Filed 07/07/11, U.S. District Court for Eastern New York
Rampant Robosigning at Bank of America
, 60 Minutes, April 1, 2011
The Lawsuits Plaguing Bank Of America
, Forbes 9/13/2011
BofA Wins Approval for $410 Million Overdraft Fee Settlement
November 09, 2011, Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Press Release, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York
. $1 Billion to be Paid by the Bank of America to the United States: Largest False Claims Act Settlement Relating to Mortgage Fraud
Five Biggest Recipients Of Corporate Tax Breaks Spent $8 Million In 2010 Elections
, Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post. First Posted: 05/03/11 Updated: 07/03/11
BofA to pay $335 million to settle Countrywide mortgage bias probe
, LA Times, December 21, 2011
National Mortgage Settlement
. Federal Government and Attorneys General reach landmark settlement with major banks.
The "Day After Tomorrow"
is Sooner than You Think
Did you think the recent film "The Day After Tomorrow" was a fictional account of global warming consequences, or that
things like ten or twenty foot rises in sea level and the rapid onset of a new ice age would never happen in your lifetime?
Well, think again.
You can now expect rapid, drastic, and even cataclysmic climate change in the next
few years, even as early as next
year, given the facts revealed in several recent reports. The conditions
depicted as a tipping point or trigger in the popular
movie "The Day After Tomorrow" are now all but fait accompli
Here's why. If the North Atlantic off the coast of Greenland gets flooded
all at one time with too much fresh water from melting glaciers, it will stall
the normal mechanism that drives the Gulf Stream. . . .
Mid-Michigan Initiatives on Climate Change
December 19, 2007
As the earth heats up and the polar ice melts, President Bush may be siting on his
haunches, but all over the country other citizens -- politicians, states, localities,
ordinary people -- are responding. There is civic movement on the issue
of climate change.
The Progressive Connection has been investigating what concrete actions on
climate change are happening in our community. Here is what we found.
Most of Michigan's electricity currently comes from polluting coal-burning power
plants, and the purchase of out-of-state coal drains billions from the
In January, 2007 Governor Granholm brought out the
Michigan 21st Century Energy Plan
, which supports Michigan's energy independence and economic development by reducing reliance on fossil fuels,
increasing energy efficiency and using more of the state's renewable energy resources.
At the very same time the governor released her plan to promote green energy,
Michigan's largest electric power companies have come out with proposals to build
seven more coal burning power plants. They are making these proposals even as Michigan's
demand for electricity has leveled off and even though other states have rejected
construction of new coal-burning power plants (Kansas, Texas). New coal plants in Michigan
are vigorously opposed by
Clean Energy Now
-- a coalition of eight Michigan environmental groups
-- under the rallying cry "no coal rush
The coalition argues that wind energy, a leading renewable resource in Michigan, is
both clean and cheaper than coal in the present market.
Meanwhile, in the Michigan legislature the House Energy and Technology Committee is
about to report out a package of energy bills that will go a long way
to determine Michigan's energy future. Environmental groups and
utilities are furiously lobbying over these bills. At issue are how much
effort Michigan will put into improving energy efficiency, how much renewable
energy will be tapped, and what kind of planning will be required before
companies can get approval to build new coal-fired generating plants.
Citizens who want to help tip the balance in favor of a "greener" package
of bills can contact Jan O'Connell at
616-956-6646, or Gayle Miller at
Global Warming: Local Action
What are people in the Lansing area doing to address global warming?
Capital Area Local First
supports the multiple benefits of locally-owned independent businesses.
Lansing Area Localvores
encourages area residents to eat locally grown and raised foods.
New coal plants in Michigan
are vigorously opposed by
Clean Energy Now
-- a coalition of eight Michigan environmental groups
-- under the rallying cry "no coal rush
Michiganders for Obama Confront MI Dem Party over Primary
Tues. Oct. 16. Late last week, the MichigandersforObama listserv saw a flurry of emails from
Obama supporters. Most were upset over the way Michigan's primary was moved up to Jan. 15,
resulting in the withdrawl from the Michigan ballot of four presidential contenders, Obama,
Edwards, Richardson, and Biden. (It would have been five, but Kucinich's letter of withdrawl
arrived too late.
See MichLib blog for more
Many Obama supporters felt they had been disenfranchised by the Michigan Democratic Party's
effort to challenge the primacy of Iowa and New Hampshire in the presidential primaries.
Moving up the Michigan primary resulted in the National Party declaring that Michigan delegates
would not be
honored at the national convention if chosen through the early primary.
Now some Michiganders for Obama are planning a write-in campaign and, on Wednesday,
a call-in day to
confront party chair Mark Brewer and the Michigan leadership
Feel free to join in if, like this writer, you are more than a little disturbed by the
Michigan party's antics. You don't have to be an Obama supporter to be concerned about
the seemingly cavalier way the Michigan Democratic leadership is treating our rights to
participate in a
meaningful selection process for the Democratic presidential nomination.
On the same general theme, please copy and forward this "Caucuses Resolution," which was passed
Monday by the Kent Co. Democratic Party (thank you, Phil Skaggs):
FORWARD THIS RESOLUTION-
Please try to have your County or Congressional District Committee adopt this well written
and brief resolution. Contact your County Party Chair and / or Chair of the Resolutions
Committee, and request that this Resolution be placed on the Agenda of the next meeting.
Resolved: The _______________ County Democratic Party believes that a January 15
primary that chooses no National Convention delegates and gives Michigan voters a very
limited choice from the Democratic presidential field is not in the interest of Michigan or
of the Michigan Democratic Party.
Therefore the _________________ County Democratic Party strongly encourages the Michigan
Democratic Party and its Chair Mark Brewer to opt out of the January 15 primary and return
to a DNC-sanctioned caucus date sometime on or after February 5.
Election Reform Legislation
Save the Internet
Sept. 30, 2006
Having heard from thousands of concerned citizens, the US Senate
adjourned without taking action on a bill that
would have destroyed net neutrality. It remains urgent to contact Michigan's
Senators and urge them to support net neutrality ("common carriage"). Neither senator has
yet declared support for net neutrality, according to Save the Internet's
To defend Internet freedom, you can also sign the
Petition for Net Neutrality.
Mike Rogers (R), our 8th District Congressional Representative,
has voted to allow AT&T and other large Internet Service Providers to charge for
expediting high-speed traffic on the Internet. Such measures would let moneyed
commercial users dominate and slow the Internet down for everyone else . . . to the
point of futility.
Anti-Affirmative Action Proposal
ACLU calls for letters
. In a recent poll
, 48% of likely Michigan voters oppose a constitutional amendment to ban affirmative action in government hiring and contracting and in university admissions. The so-called "Michigan Civil Rights Initiative" (MCRI) would do just that.
To seize the momentum, the Michigan ACLU
is mounting a campaign for letters to the editor of Michigan newspapers, complete with a handy e-mail link
to editorial departments and talking points
One United Michigan
, a coalition of education, business and labor organizations, chambers of commerce, communities of faith and other organizations has also been working to protect the rights of women and minorities by defeating the MCRI proposal.
Well known Lansing civic leader and progressive acitivist, Lynne Martinez, has warned that the effect of the ballot proposal "language would be the elimination all affirmative action programs in public institutions, even those that are effective in reducing discrimination and disparities."
Read the article.
Bids for Top Tier
Ambassador Joe Wilson Visits East Lansing
Jim Marcinkowski, challenger to Congressman Mike Rogers, is meeting with Mid-Michigan voters this week at
and at a
for Ambassador Joe Wilson, husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame.
The Marcinkowski campaign is close to qualifying for "top tier" status and full financial support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, if it receives sufficient campaign
before the next FEC reporting deadline on June 30th.
For the Winter reporting period, Jim's campaign broke all expectations, raising
$138,000 and beating Mike Rogers. Jim is the only Michigan democratic congressional
challenger who stands a chance of unseating his republican
opponent in November, according to Nathan Gonzales, political
editor of the non-partisan Washington-based Rothenberg Political
An Inconvenient Truth
Granholm Plans for Alternative Energy
Governor Granholm issued an executive directive on April 6 calling for the development of a comprehensive energy plan for the state of Michigan. The plan will outline ways to provide affordable, reliable, safe, and clean electricity for citizens and businesses. Granholm charged Peter Lark, Chairman of the MPSC, with beginning the development of the plan immediately and presenting it to her by year's end. The plan will encourage the state to seek alternative and renewable sources of energy as alternatives to traditional electricity generation. As part of the directive, the Governor has also asked Chairman Lark to establish a renewable energy portfolio standard. The portfolio will encourage alternative energy sources in Michigan by requiring that a certain percentage of the state's energy supply come from renewable sources.
Source: Michigan Energy Office, "Energy Tidbits," May 2006
For more information and to get involved, follow this link
The 23rd Qualm
Bush is my shepherd;
I dwell in want.
He maketh logs to be
in national forests.
He leadeth trucks
into the still wilderness.
He restoreth my fears.
He leadeth me in the paths
of international disgrace
for his ego's sake.
though I walk through
of pollution and
war, I will find no exit,
for Bush is in office.
His tax cuts for the rich
and his media control,
they discomfort me.
He preparest an agenda of deception
in the presence of my religion.
He anointest my head with foreign oil.
My health insurance
Surely, megalomania and
shall follow me
all the days of his term,
And my jobless child
shall dwell in my basement
Spring for Peace - March for Accountability
Sun. March 19 to Fri. March 24
Call to Action on the 3rd Anniversary of the Attack on Iraq
In response to the 3rd anniversary and the continuing occupation, the Greater Lansing Area Network Against War and Injustice (GLNAWI) is coordinating the actions and events below. All interested individuals or groups may participate. Email: email@example.com
Updates and more details are posted at www.glnawi.org
. All actions will follow GLNAWI nonviolent guidelines.
3rd Anniversary Actions
Sun. March 19
- COMMUNITY PEACE PROTEST
12 - 2 p.m. rain or shine. At 5 sites on sidewalks near Meridian Mall, Eastwood Towne Center, Lansing Mall, South Lansing on Cedar Street, and East Lansing on Grand River.
Sun. March 19
- CONFRONTING THE MYTHS
3.p.m. - 5 p.m. Presentations by an Iraqi, Christian Peacemaker Team Member and an Iraq War Veteran, and film. MSU Museum (located on Circle Drive across from the MSU Library).
Mon. March 20
- Fri. March 24 - PICKET FOR PEACE
7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Rep. Mike Rogers office, 1327 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing. Extra participation is welcome at these times. Sign-up ahead of time if you can for a one or two-hour block on any day(s) as an individual or group. E-mail your name, phone number and group affiliation to firstname.lastname@example.org
ADS FOR PEACE
- 3 Week E-mail Drive to obtain sponsor signatures and raise funds for a large ad in the Lansing State Journal, City Pulse or State News. Sponsors should send e-mail to email@example.com
, send checks to GLNAWI, 855 Grove St., E. Lansing, MI 48823.
Flyer & Action Goals
Resolution on Affirmative Action
Mon. Feb. 20.
The Lansing City Council unanimously reaffirmed its support of diversity and affirmative action programs Monday night, by passing a resolution
opposing the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI).
“It is imperative Michigan citizens realize exactly what impact Ward Connerly and the misnamed Michigan Civil Rights Initiative could have on our state,” said Mary Pollock, Lansing regional coordinator for Michigan United. "The support of the Lansing City Council takes us one step further in our fight to protect equal rights for everyone in Michigan. The more people understand and recognize the damage the MCRI can do in Michigan, the better."
The City Council's resolution recognizes the MCRI would likely cripple efforts to resolve gender and racial inequalities in key areas such as health care, education and law enforcement, as well as remove the ability of locally elected officials to bring about diversity within the operations of local government.
"The support of the Lansing City Council shows just how committed the residents of Lansing . . . are to protecting vital programs and services enabled by affirmative action," said James Gill, president of the Lansing chapter of the NAACP. "We congratulate the Council members on their forward-thinking actions, aimed at helping all Lansing-area families."
Michigan United is a wide-ranging, bi-partisan coalition of organizations working together to protect equal rights for all Michigan residents. For more information about Michigan United, or how to become involved in the campaign, please visit One United Michigan
The local committe is Lansing Area United
Contact Mary Pollock firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tuesday, Jan. 10, Jim Marcinkowski kicked off his campaign for Mike Rogers 8th District Congressional seat. In Lansing, about 50 people came to the Boji Tower to meet Jim and hear him speak, along with Ambassador Joe Wilson.
Marcinkowski gained national attention by speaking out against the Bush Administration when Valerie Plame Wilson was "outed" in what some now call "traitor-gate". He has been invited to speak before House and Senate Democratic Caucus hearings, was interviewed on CBS's "60 Minutes," and has appeared on CNN and liberal radio shows across the nation.
Jim's efforts gained the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Michigan Congressmen John Dingell and John Conyers, Jr. They all asked him to run against Mike Rogers.
Marcinkowski's reasons for running are as compelling as his credentials.
For more information on the campaign or to volutneer or make a contribution, go to the campaign web site: Marcinkowski for Congress