Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wassmer Running for Adrian City Commissioner

Hi everybody.
I want to announce my candidacy for Adrian City Commissioner to the members and readers of this blog so you can support my campaign if you feel inclined to do so.
I am running with the following slogan:
Healthy Planet = Healthy People!
The Primary will be on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, and the Election on Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Find out more about my goals and background at:
On my site, you can download my flyer in PDF format, print it double-sided, cut it into 3 flyers, and help me spread the word. As there are 3 vacancies, every citizen of the City of Adrian will have 3 votes. Thank you in advance!

If anybody wants to meet me fact-to-face, I will be in the Adrian City Library on the July and August 1st Fridays 6-8pm, and the Candidates Forum organized by the NAACP on July, 18 at 7:00 pm at the Weber Center on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Drilling in Heritage Park Continues

The new drilling in Heritage Park does not involve hydraulic fracturing but falls under the category of  horizontal drilling.

This process consumes much less water but still produces substantial amounts of drilling fluids that mix with outflowing brine and is first captured in an open pit that is laid out with a heavy plastic tarp. Almost every hour, a brine truck needs to pump the fluids out of the pit and drives it to one of Savoy's 3 injection wells, where the poisonous mix is pumped into the ground.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Drilling in Substantially Enlarged Area in Heritage Park

There was a rumor about Savoy moving the oil well in Heritage Park to a new location. This is now happening. The fenced-in area was dramatically enlarged - it is now probably twice the size as before.

There are lots of trucks and temp drilling staff, and a large drilling rig. There are also two of these notorious blue water / drilling fluid containers that I saw at many drilling sites that are "fracking".

I hope that is not the plan for the Heritage Park site as this would mean that Savoy would pump millions of gallons of good drinking water, mixed with highly toxic drilling fluids down into the ground, apply high pressure and hydraulically fracture (frack) the shale formations to release the trapped oil and gas.
I find it highly inappropriate of the City of Adrian that the public was not informed about Savoy's plans to enlarge the drilling site and possibly involve hydraulic fracturing into the oil and gas extraction process and that there was no public forum for people to voice their concerns. Savoy's current expansion seriously impairs the value of Heritage Park for recreation, which the City is obliged to provide due to the nature of the Fee Estate Trust, which pays substantially for Adrian's parks. What is worse are the dangers for the environmental health of Adrian's largest - and in terms of natural resources - most precious park, and the dangers for people due to soil, water and air pollution that occur with any oil drilling but particularly with "Fracking".

Monday, July 3, 2017

Open Letter to Citizen Gas Fuel Company and DTE: Missing energy rebates and incentives

Adrian, June 29, 2017

To whom it may concern,

I contacted Citizen Gas Fuel Company several times with my below inquiry and did not receive any responses as of today. Therefore, I am reaching out to DTE, who, as the owner of CGFC should take responsibility to provide the same standards to CGFC customers as to direct DTE customers, and should be interested in keeping DTE's reputation as a modern energy supplier.

Due to the fact that I currently receive my gas from CGFC, I lost more than $300 worth of energy rebates after fully retrofitting and insulating my 1900 craftsmen bungalow in Adrian. I am considering to pay substantially more and buy my gas through Consumer Energy (DTE is not available in Adrian, MI) just to avoid being a customer of such a backwards company, who surely does not live up to the standards as your own DTE enterprise.

Thank you in advance!

Tom Wassmer
Thomas Wassmer, Ph.D.

Before this letter, I tried to contact Citizen Gas Fuel Company several times without ever getting a reply. My last attempt was on June 24, 2017:

From: Thomas Wassmer
Sent: Saturday, June 24, 2017 1:02 PM
Subject: Missing Energy Rebate Program

To whom it may concern,

Especially in the light of your company's motion to be recognized as a model corporate citizen, the lack of energy rebates and incentives for energy saving investments is puzzling. I hope somebody will get back to me to discuss this issue.

Sincerely, Tom Wassmer

On June 30, 2017, I received an answer by Robyn Wilson <>
 on behalf of DTEENERGYCARES Account <>

Dear Thomas Wassmer,

Citizens Gas Fuel Company does not offer energy efficiency programs. The reason they do not offer rebates is because their rates are set by the local government (i.e. their rate books are not approved by the MPSC). Since PA 342 defines a Natural gas provider as “an investor-owned business engaged in the sale and distribution at retail of natural gas within this state whose rates are regulated by the commission”, they are not mandated to implement an energy efficiency program.

Additionally, it would be inappropriate for DTE to provide compensation to address the inability to receive rebates as Citizens Gas is a separate company and the energy efficiency rebates we provide are funded by the Energy Optimization surcharge we collect from DTE Energy customers.

Thank you for reaching out to DTE Energy.


DTE Energy Social

This is very technical and not really satisfactory. Why is CGFC  allowed to operate outside the MPSC (MI Public Service Commission) and avoid offering common sense incentives and rebates to educate people to do the right thing? And how can such a company be named a "clean corporate citizen" as in the Daily Telegram, Sep 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM?
However, DTE's answer shows two more shortcomings of our Public Services / Utilities sector, and general corporate practices. First, DTE and Consumers Energy, who provide rebates and incentives are not using their substantial profits to give back to customer's investing in efficiency upgrades but finance those through fees charged to every customer on top of other fees. If public services and utilities companies want to claim benefits and special treatment from governmental bodies for serving the public interest, they should also be specifically engaged in promoting the common good such as reducing our carbon footprint - and finance these engagements directly through their profits!
Secondly, the general business strategy of compartmentalization to separate legal responsibilities and limit liability also allows mother corporations like DTE to avoid taking over responsibility for the common good when they acquire ownership of subsidiaries like CGFC.

Rover Pipeline to cross Wolf Creek Highway

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hidden Flare on Savoy's Processing Plant still Active Producing Bad Odor

The flare hidden in a barrel on Savoy's processing plant is still active and today produced a very noticeable putrid odor. Such a noticeable odor indicates that the flare is not burning properly and does not fully combust toxic hazardous air pollutant (HAP) and VOC emissions. This reminds me that Savoy most probably still did not comply with the measures required by the EPA when they were found to violate the Clean Air Act in May 2015. I will reach out to the case worker and find out...

In the meantime, please consult my older well researched blogpost: