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:
http://wassmer.org
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
To: infocgfc@dteenergy.com
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 <robyn.wilson@dteenergy.com>
 on behalf of DTEENERGYCARES Account <dteenergycares@dteenergy.com>

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.

Sincerely,

Wilson
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:

http://adrianoil.blogspot.com/2014/03/meeting-at-lenawee-county-health.html

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Heritage Park Pump Removed and Well Plugged

After a little more than four years, the oil pump in Heritage Park was removed and the well head plugged. Lately, the pump was repeatedly shut down and did not seem to produce enough oil anymore. Unfortunately, lots of drilling fluids and oil filled pipelines remain buried under ground. Was it really worth it?






 Here are some pictures from 2013 when the well was drilled and the toxic drilling fluids were simply buried in a sandwich of tarps:

February 11, 2013

April 25, 2013




May 2, 2013



Then a pipeline had to be build to the processing plant on M52 (Witt Farm):


May 1, 2013




And then even more pipelines were buried from Heritage Park to two wells off Valley Road around the playground and baseball fields...




Was it really worth it? Short term profits for companies such as Savoy without longterm consideration of costs for the community.

Search this blog for more posts on the history of oil extraction in and around Adrian such as:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ROVER Pipeline Construction Underway

A 100 yard wide right of way is carved through farmland and then the assembly of the 30 inch gas pipes begins. These pictures are from last week Tuesday and were taken around Morenci close to the Ohio border.









Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Ecological research uses eBird data to show that migratory birds are falling out of sync with the timing of spring | eBird

Ecological research uses eBird data to show that migratory birds are falling out of sync with the timing of spring | eBird

Ann Arbor pushes for community to adopt more solar energy | wgvu

Ann Arbor pushes for community to adopt more solar energy | wgvu

Thinking about what was said last Monday 6/5/2017 at the Adrian City Commission about the Oil Trust money. Following the above example would be a good way to use the royalties to pay back some of the damage done to the environment by leasing City land to Savoy for drilling and processing of crude oil and gas - and the associated pipelines that go under Beaver Creek and through Heritage Park - and miles and miles further under City and Township land - and the notorious flare on Witt Farm that is probably still spewing - 3 years after the EPA ruled that Sovoy violates the Clean Air Act! So - instead of "beautifying" our precious natural asset, The River Raisin, or fixing Bohn Pool - helping to move the city to 100% clean renewable energy would be the only use of this DIRTY money that I would find appropriate!

Enbridge document shows years of noncompliance for pipeline supports | Featured-pnr | petoskeynews.com

Enbridge document shows years of noncompliance for pipeline supports | Featured-pnr | petoskeynews.com



You may also want to consult previous blog posts on this topic:

http://adrianoil.blogspot.com/2013/07/rally-to-begin-soon.html

Monday, June 5, 2017

Re: Executive Office of the Governor of Michigan

To whom it may concern,


I appreciate the actions taken by Governor Snyder to reduce our state's climate impact but what I was petitioning for goes way beyond this. I asked Governor Snyder to be brave enough to follow the example of 61 US municipalities and 3 states and vow to uphold the Paris climate accord:

https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/01/61-us-cities-and-three-states-vow-to-uphold-paris-climate-agreem/


I hope that you are considering adding Michigan to this list!


Sincerely, Tom Wassmer

________________________________
From: Snyder, Rick (GOV) <Rick.Snyder@michigan.gov>
Sent: Monday, June 5, 2017 1:49 PM
To: Snyder, Rick (GOV)
Subject: Executive Office of the Governor


Thank you for your recent correspondence sent to Governor Snyder's office regarding President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. As a member of Governor Snyder's staff, I am writing this response on his behalf.



Governor Snyder believes that there are things we can do today that benefit us right now and pay dividends tomorrow, no matter what the future holds. In 2012, Governor Snyder outlined plans for Michigan's energy future in his special message<http://www.michigan.gov/documents/snyder/EE_Message_FINAL_pdf_404563_7.pdf>, which detailed the need for energy supplies to be reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound. The Governor understood that Michigan needed to determine how we move forward, transitioning from the sources of yesterday to newer, cleaner methods.



In April of 2015, the governor announced a plan designed to increase residential recycling access statewide. He also announced appointments to a nine-member Michigan Recycling Council to guide the plan's implementation. To learn more about residential recycling opportunities in Michigan or see Michigan's plan, go to www.Michigan.gov/MIrecycles<http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-70153_70155_3585_4130-313206--,00.html>.



Governor Snyder signed landmark legislation on December 31, 2016 reforming Michigan's statewide energy policy. This legislation will make it easier for our state to meet its energy needs while protecting our environment and saving Michiganders millions on their energy bills. Senate Bills 437-438, sponsored by state Sens. Mike Nofs and John Proos, respectively, update Michigan's current laws regarding its energy market, as well as renewable energy and energy waste reduction. The bills also update laws related to utility rate cases and how sufficient energy supplies can be assured while protecting electric choice. Other highlights from the bills include:



* Reducing energy waste by providing incentives for utilities to enhance current programs and meet more of our needs from our cheapest, cleanest resource.
* Ensuring a reliable energy supply by requiring all electric providers to have adequate resources to avoid blackouts/brownouts, using a market-driven approach.
* Allowing regulated utilities to use on-bill financing programs for utility customers, allowing them to finance energy waste reduction projects (like new insulation) through an itemized charge on their utility bills.
* Giving Michigan a cleaner and smarter energy future by requiring utilities to develop a long-term planning process that includes comparing projects to alternatives -- ensuring all Michiganders have reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly energy.



Click here<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBakUAlJSPI> to watch Governor Snyder talk more about what this legislation means for all Michiganders.



The governor does not have authority over the Paris Climate Accord but is monitoring the situation as it develops. You may consider contacting the White House, your congressional representative or either of the senators representing our state in Washington, D.C. to share your concerns. These contacts may be found below:



Contact the White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Contact your U.S. Senator: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/senators_cfm.cfm?State=MI

Contact your U.S. Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/



Again, thank you for your correspondence and your interest in this topic. Should you have further questions or comments regarding this or any other state-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact Governor Snyders office again.



Sincerely,





Laura Stoken

Constituent Relations

Executive Office of the Governor

517.335.7858

Friday, May 12, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Extremely one-sided journalism in Rover pipeline article (Daily Telegram, Front page 5/11/2017)

Letter to the Editor: Extremely one-sided journalism in Rover pipeline article (Daily Telegram, Front page 5/11/2017)

Your staff writer Lonnie Huhman seems to be not interested to write a balanced and well informed article. Besides stating the facts about the progress and schedule of the pipeline construction his article reads as a propaganda piece from the PR department of Energy Transfer, who are behind the ROVER pipeline. There was nothing about the shocking list of recent leaks and spills during the pipeline construction in Ohio (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/05/10/pipeline-shut-down-after-18-leaks-and-a-2-million-gallon-spill-of-drilling-materials/). There was no word about the brave communities and property owners in Ohio and Michigan, who did not just give in when their municipalities and private property were hijacked under the false pretenses of public interest (eminent domain) but instead stood up against the goliath of corporate corruption and irresponsibility (http://marcellusdrilling.com/2017/02/rover-pipeline-files-eminent-domain-against-58-michigan-landowners/). Unfortunately, our local governments city – and county - were once more gutless and gave in to the false promises of economic benefits and trade unions fighting for a couple of temporary jobs that are mostly given to temp workers hired nationally and rarely locally. This is not new – Lenawee County and the City of Adrian are also quiet enablers of the massive factory farms or CAFOs in our county that pollute our River Raisin and contribute to Lake Erie’s algal blooms – all for the mighty dollar (http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2017/05/02/Tour-of-CAFO-sites-prompts-debate.html).
And finally, and probably most seriously, the article also missed any reflection that the construction of distribution channels for fracked natural gas from PA, OH and WV (with its known groundwater pollution, http://adrianoil.blogspot.com/2014/11/why-et-rover-pipeline-should-not-be.html) called ROVER and NEXUS, is highly immoral and unethical in view of man-made climate change that destroys the livelihood of millions of people by droughts, melting ice, and flooding, leading to massive migrations that threaten world peace. Business as usual for energy companies such as Energy Transfer in such times becomes truly a crime against humanity, especially as we have the technology at hand today to go to 100% clean renewables like sun, wind and water (http://thesolutionsproject.org/). I hope for a more balanced and truly informed journalism in Mr. Huhman’s next article.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Peoples Climate March in Washington DC

About 30 Adrian, Tecumseh, and Toledo community members were part of over 200,000 people attended the People's Climate March in Washington DC last Saturday.






We all endured a record breaking heat of  91 F, which according to the Washington Post tied a heat record for April 29 set in 1974. This early heat wave confirms once more the new normal of record temperatures rising every year. Below is a selection of how creative people raised attention for the importance and severity of combating climate change and how upset people are with Trump's denial of the issue.
















In the meantime, the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere reached 410 ppm for the first time in the last 5-20 million years: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/we-just-breached-the-410-ppm-threshold-for-co2/ - compare to the Keeling curve on the blog homepage and this blog post: https://robertscribbler.com/2017/04/26/key-heat-trapping-gas-crosses-410-parts-per-million-threshold-highest-level-in-past-5-20-million-years/