Monday, December 25, 2017

Ban on local plastic bag bans now Michigan law |

Not new but still awful. Can it be another example of CORRUPTION - or why should progressive municipalities not be allowed to ban plastic bags. Let us just continue to kill the oceans and everything on the path of millions of tons of plastic to the oceans...

Ban on local plastic bag bans now Michigan law |

Judge clears way for Nestle booster pump in Osceola Twp.

What a dumb law - water belongs to nobody, therefore nobody can be denied to pump any amount they want. But why can this law not be changed to the realities of the 21. century. Could it be another example of CORRUPTION!

Judge clears way for Nestle booster pump in Osceola Twp.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Environmental Documentary Series at SHU: We're not broke (80) Topics: Tax evasion, globalization

The 5th Environmental Documentary Series at Siena Heights University will show:
We're not broke (80) Topics: Tax evasion, globalization
Where?: Siena Heights University, Science Building, Room 131
When?: Wednesday, 11/29/2017 6:30 pm
How much? Free!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Keystone Pipeline Leaks 210,000 Gallons of Oil in South Dakota

Keystone Pipeline Leaks 210,000 Gallons of Oil in South Dakota. By MITCH SMITH and JULIE BOSMANNOV. 16, 2017, NYTimes.

Full Story:

Toxic algae: Once a nuisance, now a severe nationwide threat | Hosted

A small minority of farms participate in federal programs that promote practices to reduce fertilizer runoff. That is why the needed measures to control soluble reactive phosphorus CANNOT BE VOLUNTARY but MUST BE MANDATORY! Small family farmers need to be assisted by compensation paid by large factory farms!

Algae floats in the water at the Maumee Bay State Park marina in Lake Erie in Oregon, Ohio, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Pungent, ugly and often-toxic algae is spreading across U.S. waterways, even as the government spends vast sums of money to help farmers reduce fertilizer runoff that helps cause it. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Toxic algae: Once a nuisance, now a severe nationwide threat | Hosted

Docs: US Steel sought to keep chemical spill secret

Self regulation by the industry is a BAD idea - and in many cases it is the only oversight: Are we just all dumb cattle?

The United States Steel Gary Works plant juts out of the landscape at the south end of the beach at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore October 12, 2007 in Gary, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Full Story:
Docs: US Steel sought to keep chemical spill secret

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

TONIGHT: Age of Consequences

Tonight at 6:30pm at Siena Heights University, Science Building, Room 131, the 5th Environmental Documentary Series will show: The Age of Consequences. The feature runs for 80 minutes and investigates the connection between climate change and social unrest, conflict and war. More info at:

Image result for age of consequences

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Fossil Free house party: Better Now than Later

Dear Friend,
Join us on Nov 18 for a Fossil Free house party near you. Meet others in your community who want to organize to build local power and take climate action.
Working together, we will end the use of fossil fuels and transition our world to 100% renewable energy for all.
Find out what you can do in your city or town to begin to build the Fossil Free future we need -- and connect with other activists equally passionate about this work.

Eco-Dementia - CAFOs and other Environmental Insanities

Daily Telegram Article: Hudson woman pens book of poetry

On Janet Kauffman's Website:

Ohio sues gas pipeline developer over pollution violations - The Washington Post

Ohio sues gas pipeline developer over pollution violations - The Washington Post

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Both Mayoral Candidates Still Show Oblivion on the Most Severe Thread to Humanity

Both Mayoral Candidates Still Show Oblivion on the Most Severe Thread to Humanity
When asked about the oil trust funds in the Daily Telegram of Sunday, October 22, incumbent Jim Berryman stated that he thinks the funds should be used to enhance our natural resources, e.g. to promote kayaking on River Raisin as these moneys came from Earth. On the same question, Chuck Jacobson generically speaks of a great asset that should be shared with future generations.
A while ago, in a Facebook message, I suggested to both candidates, several City Commissioners and the City Administrator, Shane Horn, that the accumulated interest would most probably be sufficient to install solar panels on several city buildings and that this would be the appropriate way to pay back to Earth some of the damages caused by the oil and gas extraction in our area. This, unfortunately, must have been fallen on deaf ears with both candidates. Just as a reminder, the EPA charged our local oil developer Savoy for violation of the Clean Air Act, one of a few keystone environmental laws left in this country. In addition, Savoy was flaring all the gas from 10 wells for more than 2 years on Witt Farm, and injects thousands of gallons of drilling fluids into 2 injection wells in Lenawee county, endangering aquifers for centuries to come. In addition to paying back some of the environmental and health damages done, transitioning our fossil fuel based energy supply to clean renewable energy is the most effective and fastest way to slow down climate change. Do I have to remind our local politicians of the 10 hurricanes we had this season and the devastation that 3 of them caused – are they connecting the dots between California’s wild fires and climate change – about the increase and northwards movement of mosquito-borne diseases and climate change, about the refugee crises and wars in the Middle East and climate change – the list could be continued to fill this entire issue of the Daily Telegram – and would still not be conclusive…
Our local politicians have failed to oppose the two unnecessary gas pipelines that will soon pump gas from wells exploited by Fracking in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio through our County and the City of Adrian to deliver most of the gas to Canada. Our “leaders” obviously still do not get this. This is not a movie, this is not a story, this is REAL LIFE. We have a narrow window of time to cap the inevitable global temperature rise to 1.5-2°C – if we continue to diddle-doddle and pretend that sports scores and traffic circles are the most important news, and do not act NOW, then we are doomed to enter a world that will make bare survival very challenging and lead to the loss of Earth’s current beauty and sanctity – so much about kayaking on River Raising Mr. Berryman!
Investing the oil trust money into solar panels will also be financially prudent as solar electricity is already cheaper than fossil fuel based energy and the trend goes to further price losses. In addition, once the panels are paid off, we would actually be making money. In addition, the City of Adrian would follow the good old tradition of being a shining example of responsible citizenship and show the way to the private residents of Adrian and Lenawee County. We would also become a member of the growing number of cities and municipalities that move towards 100% Clean Renewable all over the world. That would be something really worth being proud of!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

DEQ finds Rover Pipeline spilling water containing gasoline into wetlands |

But as Savoy does not care that they were charged by the EPA for violation of the Clean Air Act, Rover does not care about what the MDEQ has to say... So what are we going to do about this? Just watching???

DEQ finds Rover Pipeline spilling water containing gasoline into wetlands |

Friday, October 6, 2017

Kent County to study cancer near Wolverine waste dumps |

More of such to come if we do not follow the precautionary principle and let the polluters get away with such criminal conduct!

Kent County to study cancer near Wolverine waste dumps |

A Michigan City shows real leadership

Unfortunately, such things will remain a dream with the current and the upcoming Adrian City Government - more of the same old - same old is bound to come - hurray ROVER pipeline, hurray NEXUS pipeline - while the world drifts further into an unfathomable catastrophe - bravo!

Solar array nearly done | Local News |

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday, August 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.

Edit 8/21/17
Unfortunately, I did not get into the November election. I received 314 votes and I appreciate your support very much but I came in only 7th out of 8. I think this has several reasons: first, many people did not know me despite my frequent appearances at environmental and social events and their reporting in the Daily Telegram, my Environmental Documentary Series at Siena Heights University, my organizing of the Issa Endowment Speaker Series at Siena Heights University, my Letters To The Editor of the Daily Telegram, and my campaigning. I admit I could have hit the pavement more and show up at social gatherings - and attract followers with incentives like free ice cream - but that is not the sole reason of my shortcoming. Unfortunately, the environment is still not on top of many people's radar despite the urgency to deal with Climate Change, Biological and Chemical Pollution, and Habitat Destruction, which will make everybody's lives very challenging in the not so far future. A third reason for my insufficient performance is the fact that I was not born and raised in Lenawee County, not even in Michigan or the US and some people perceived me as an outsider from another country. I think that this should have been an advantage as I could have contributed a different and new perspective to Adrian's challenges and path into the future - but the majority of the 1706 voters seemed to have preferred more of the same old... 
I am not sure if I will run for a political office again but I will definitely not stop being an environmental activist and educator.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Drilling continues in Heritage Park: Flare and open pit with toxic sludge

Drilling started again about a week ago and continues since then. Today a notorious flare appeared that burns very inefficient exposing wildlife and recreationists with toxic fumes containing VOC (volatile organic compounds).

On the below video you can see how little of the flame actually burns and how much is escaping into the air.

On the last video, you see once more the flare and next to it the open pit with a substantial amount of drilling sludge containing many toxic compounds that are bound to be buried as soon as drilling concludes.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Toxic and cancerous coal tar sealant applied near River Raisin

Raisin Township is putting tar sealant on Howell Highway and other newly resurfaced roads. Coal tar is "The number one" carcinogen for non smokers and is accumulated in waterbodies. Really good timing again with the River Raisin "cleanup". Maybe instead of removing valuable bank vegetation the cleanup crews should prevent this toxic pollution and travel to the Lenawee CAFOs that are responsible for high coliform bacteria counts and phosphorus runoff that cause harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

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:

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 |

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

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

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:

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

Sincerely, Tom Wassmer

From: Snyder, Rick (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<>, 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<,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<> 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:

Contact your U.S. Senator:

Contact your U.S. Representative:

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.


Laura Stoken

Constituent Relations

Executive Office of the Governor


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 ( 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 ( 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 (
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, 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 ( I hope for a more balanced and truly informed journalism in Mr. Huhman’s next article.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

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: - compare to the Keeling curve on the blog homepage and this blog post: