Curt Guyette’s Good Piece on Grassroots Resistance to Clean Energy

Curt Guyette, a first-rate senior editor at MetroTimes, Detroit’s very good weekly newspaper, just posted one of the most even-handed pieces on the grassroots resistance to clean energy projects that I’ve seen.

He interviewed me earlier this week and jotted down this quote:

“The environmental community on a national level is pushing like hell for more clean energy,” Schneider says. “I know that because I work in Washington and I see it happening. But what I also see happening in places all around the country is local affiliates of those national organizations pushing back” against local renewable energy projects.

When it comes to the big picture, he says, the need to make a transition to clean energy is clearly seen. On the other hand, when it comes to individual projects, environmentalists living in areas directly affected can frequently be heard saying, “‘Not here, not here, not here.’ It’s been happening everywhere. And what’s been surprising is the ferocity of the attacks.”

I know Curt and his colleagues well, having written a number of cover pieces on Detroit transportation and environmental issues over the years. Curt and I met in the late 1990s when he wrote a piece for MetroTimes on the statewide campaign I led as director of the Michigan Land Use Institute to curb excesses in the state natural gas industry. This latest piece is a good one and a must-read on the subject.

— Keith Schneider

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2 comments on “Curt Guyette’s Good Piece on Grassroots Resistance to Clean Energy

  1. Jim Edwards says:

    Kurt, I read the piece in the Metro Times and was very impressed with your comments. I’d be interested in your thoughts on the Detroit co-generation plant – known to its opponents as the incinerator. I consider it Michigan’s largest contribution to green energy but it has many enemies. (Please note: As it happens I work for the City of Detroit but not in any role involved with the incinerator/co-generation plant.)

  2. Curt Guyette says:

    You are right about the incinerator having many enemies. Nearly every environmental group in southeast Michigan is opposed to it. A major concern is that the incinerator, which requires 800,000 tons of trash to operate efficiently, serves as a disincentive to recycling. Aside from the health impact — the incinerator is a major source of nitrogen oxide, which leads to smog and is a problem for people with respiratory illnesses — the biggest concern about the incinerator is its fiscal stability. If you want more info, feel free to contact me at cguyette@metrotimes.com.
    Curt