Did you know that Michigan has an asthma contraction rate 10 percent higher than the national average, and that southwest Detroit has the third-most polluted zip code, 48127, in the nation? Environmentalists have established a link between environmental pollutants and adult-onset asthma. In addition, pollution frequently induces asthma attacks in those who already have the disorder. We all directly or indirectly have people we know who have asthma; obviously this issue is immediate.
The Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act, which requires that electric companies in the state of Michigan, such as DTE Energy, have 10 percent of their energy come from renewable resources, expires at the end of this year. The issue is that once 2015 ends, the act expires, and electric companies lack incentive to continue using renewable energy.
In order to protect those close to us, we should all advocate for sustainable energy policies that keep us all healthy and worry-free. Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced that he hopes to expand energy policy so that we get 30 to 40 percent of our power from clean renewables by 2025. In order to persuade the Michigan Legislature to vote in the affirmative, he needs our help. It’s imperative that we all contact our legislators in order to aid Snyder in the passing of a renewable energy act, which would reduce air pollutants and thus asthmatic prevalence in Michigan for those around us and our posterity.
Lotan Helfman is an LSA senior.