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Bring back renewal plates for big rigs

Funding for needed road repair can be obtained in this manner: Do away with the "forever" license plates for trailers. Make then an annual renewal plate, like it was before the change.

Do not use the "one size fits all" formula, but rather charge by size and load capacity. Hit the big rigs the hardest, like the lumber and asphalt trailers, the double bottoms and tandem trailers, as they are responsible for most of the wear and tear.

The little 4x6 or 4x8 utility trailers should pay according to their size. Don't forget the mobile home trailers that travel our roads.

This coupled with a moderate gas tax increase would go a long way in paying for needed repairs.

Jerome Ciesinski, Warren 

Reclamation key to balancing energy and environment

Every form of energy development — wind, solar, hydro, oil, natural gas — impacts the land and environment in some way. It’s impossible to produce oil and gas without pump jacks, or to generate solar and wind energy without panels and windmills. Large-scale solar farms and wind development in rural areas and open spaces have visual and physical impacts, as well as implications to wildlife and their habitat.

There is duplicity in the political decisions being made about Michigan’s energy economy.

How is industrializing up to 3 million acres of open space for solar development OK, as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer did by removing restrictions from the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, but replacing and modernizing an underground pipeline is bad for the environment?

Pipeline construction has a short, temporary impact. Once the process is finished, machineries move on, and energy continues to flow underground, out of sight.

Michiganians need all types of energy. They also need to protect the environment. The key to both is reclamation, a complex process which takes place before, during and after energy development.

When done right, reclaimed land is just as good or better than it was before. Reclamation a tailored set of commonsense rules and regulations that allow energy companies to develop the energy we need while protecting the environment we love.

Reclamation begins before the trucks roll out. Soil is mapped, stored and protected, and erosion control measures are set in place. As construction proceeds, interim reclamation begins. This involves continued erosion control, noxious weed control, frequent environmental testing and reseeding.

When construction is finished, the land is restored to its original condition.

Regardless of the energy source, effective reclamation should be the deciding force behind balancing energy development and environmental protection.

Chris Ventura, regional director

Consumer Energy Alliance

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