The Story of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund

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Enbridge submits final 3 reports to State of Michigan on Line 5

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On June 29, Enbridge delivered its final 3 reports to the State of Michigan in accordance with its November 2017 agreement. These assessments evaluate technologies and actions aimed at safeguarding the environment and energy infrastructure. They will be used to help inform discussions on the future of Line 5 and energy infrastructure in Michigan.

The comprehensive studies provided to the State of Michigan addressed the following topics:

  • Technologies and strategies to prevent vessel anchor strikes to Line 5 and critical infrastructure in the Straits of Mackinac;
  • Potential technologies that provide leak detection and coating integrity assessment on the underwater portion of Line 5 at the Straits; and
  • Prioritization and potential safety enhancements on Line 5 water crossings outside the Straits of Mackinac.

These assessments are the result of the coordinated efforts between State-appointed experts, independent consultants and Enbridge and can be found on the PSAB Website, Click Here for More. 

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A Closer Look at the new EDF Methane Study

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IPAA's Energy In Depth has identified several issues with the Environmental Defense Fund's Recent Methane Study 

According to an article recently published by Energy In Depth, these include; 

#1. Exclusive Use of Facility-Scale Study Data Goes Against National Academy of Sciences’ Recommendations and Likely Exaggerates Emissions

#2. Lack of Industry Collaboration Goes Against National Academy of Sciences’ Recommendations

#3. “Alternative” Emissions Estimate That Is In Line With EPA Greenhouse Gas Inventory (And Past EDF Research) Is Not Included In Report

#4. Attempts to Discredit Study That Finds Misrepresentation of Episodic Events Can Lead to Inflated Emissions Estimates Via Daytime Bias

#5. Despite EDF’s Alarmist Characterizations, Natural Gas’ Climate Benefits Remain Clear

You can read detailed explanations on each of these issues online on the Energy In Depth, Climate & Environment Webpage 

Click Here to Read More

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State Releases Line 5 Alternatives Feasibility Study Findings

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In accordance with its agreement with the state of Michigan, Enbridge has completed a feasibility study to help ensure the continued protection of the Great Lakes.

The company worked collaboratively with state-appointed independent experts to assess the feasibility of three potential alternatives for the eventual replacement of the dual Line 5 pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac.

The team included qualified engineering consultants, specializing in tunneling, offshore pipelines and horizontal directional drilling, whom assessed potential options from design, compatibility, and logistical perspectives.

The options considered included: tunneling deep under the lakebed and placing the pipeline inside of the tunnel; trenching the lakebed and installing the pipeline within a secondary containment "pipe-in-a-pipe" system within the trench before covering it; and utilizing horizontal directional drilling to bore under the Straits lakebed and install the pipeline.

According to the study, the two feasible options for the potential replacement of Line 5 in the Straits include either placing the pipeline in a concrete-lined tunnel, or placing the pipeline inside a larger, secondary containment pipe, which would be buried.

The system in the second option would be laid in a trench near the shore and laid on the lakebed, with the pipe covered with rock to protect it at deeper depths. The study concludes that the third option was not feasible as the Straits crossing is too long for current horizontal directional drilling (HDD) capabilities. The approximately 4-mile crossing is more than double any comparable HDD crossing completed to date.

For a more in depth look, the study can be found here

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EEM Fall 2018 Scholarships

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Apply Today for the Fall 2018 Energy Education for Michigan Scholarships!

We are excited to announce the fall 2018 Energy Education for Michigan Scholarship application is now available on the MOGA Website at http://www.michiganoilandgas.org/scholarships The Application will be open through August 10th

In 2017, Energy Education for Michigan (EEM) completed its Scholarship Application Re-vamp with the help of MOGA's Education Committee. This re-vamp was intended to honor the original intent of the donors to both the James Bigard and Tony Howard Scholarships while increasing the reach of EEM scholarships. A combined, fully online application has accomplished just that.

This year, another great scholarship fund will be made available to Michigan students under the same EEM online application. The William k. Roth Scholarship Fund was established following the Oct. 16th, 2017 passing of William K. "Bill" Roth, legendary Michigan petroleum geologist and mentor, whose steadfast leadership spanned his 58 year career in Michigan’s Oil and Gas Business.

Cutting edge technologies and bright young minds will continue to drive Michigan’s oil and gas industry into the future. Please share this incredible scholarship opportunity with students, teachers, and schools.

Visit: http://www.michiganoilandgas.org/scholarshipapplication to apply!

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$49.9 Million in Additional MNRTF Funds to be Made Available

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Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation on Monday June 4, 2018 that will allow an additional $49 Million to be made available for Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund Projects.

“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has provided a variety of opportunities to Michiganders to experience our state’s world-class natural resources,” Snyder said. “I’m happy to sign legislation that will help provide the resources needed to continue their work.”

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) was established under the Kammer Recreational Land Trust Fund Act of 1976 to provide a permanent funding source for the public acquisition of land for resource protection and public outdoor recreation. Funding is provided by revenue derived from royalties on the sale and lease of state-owned oil, gas and mineral rights. This landmark piece of legislation came to fruition thanks to the collaborative efforts of Michigan Oil and Gas Association (MOGA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) and state legislators on behalf of all Michigan citizens.

MNRTF has contributed immeasurably to protecting our state’s natural beauty and helped paved the way for wise and prudent development of our state’s abundant energy resources. Since the creation of the MNRTF in 1976, the oil and gas industry has contributed over $1 billion to Michigan’s state & local parks, waterways, trails and nature preserves throughout all 83 counties. The additional $49.9 million will go toward acquisition and development projects across the state.

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Oil Exports Not to Blame for Rising Prices at the Pump

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According to a recent IPAA Press Release, last week, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate called on Congress to address rising gasoline prices and incorrectly blamed crude oil exports as a main cause for increasing cost at the pump.

U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass) filed legislation to reintroduce the crude oil export ban, arguing that we need to keep crude oil for domestic use only, and this would result in lower gasoline prices. This rationale ignores basic facts of the geopolitical marketplace.
 
Energy in Depth, IPAA's rapid response, research and education program, developed a point-by-point response to Sen. Markey's arguments and is working hard to educate policymakers about the substantial efforts made by American producers to grow the supply of American crude oil as we strive for energy independence
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100th Anniversary of Michigan's Re-established Elk Herd

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This year, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the re-establishment of the Michigan elk herd.

Michigan in the late 1800’s looked much different than it does today. Large tracts of land were cleared for settlement and farming, as Michigan grew into statehood. The massive forests that once blanketed the state were being harvested for timber to fuel the growth of Michigan communities and large cities like Chicago. According to Michigan States Geography Department, by 1869 Michigan was producing more lumber than any other state, a distinction it continued to hold for 30 years. In 1889-1890, the year of greatest lumber production, Michigan produced approximately 5 ½ billion board feet, mostly pine.  

Although Michigan’s timber industry help spur the state’s growth, the boom, along with settlement and overharvesting was detrimental to many of Michigan’s wildlife populations that depended on the forests. Michigan’s DNR reports that Michigan’s native elk herd disappeared by about 1875.

As the conservation movement began to pick up momentum in the early part of the 20th century, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and others worked to bring back these iconic creatures.  In 1918, seven elk were brought from the western United States and released near Wolverine, Michigan. After growing steadily to about 1,500 elk in the early 1960s, their numbers plummeted to only 200 in the mid-1970s due to poaching and reduced habitat quality. Decades of hard work and perseverance helped ensure the continuation of a healthy Michigan herd despite fluctuations in numbers. Today, Michigan’ elk herd stands at about 1,300 animals and remains a conservation success story as it celebrates in Centennial anniversary.  

To Read more on the re-establishment of Michigan’s Elk Herd check out the links below!

Free Press Article: https://www.freep.com/story/sponsor-story/michigan-wildlife-council/2017/02/20/michigan-elk-herd-is-flourishing/97965928/

DNR Article: https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79137_79770_79873_80003-457932--,00.html

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Snyder issues ‘no-anchor’ order for straits following strike

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder approved an emergency order Thursday prohibiting ships from dropping anchors in the Straits of Mackinac following an April strike that ruptured transmission cables and dented an oil pipeline.

“Anchoring could cause severe environmental damage and threatens to disrupt critical energy and communication services between the Upper and Lower peninsulas. This emergency rule will help us better protect Michigan waters and residents until a permanent solution is in place.” Gov. Snyder said in a statement. 

To Read the Full Article from the Detroit News, Click Here

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IPAA and Allied Trade Groups (Including MOGA) Support the EPA’s Proposal to Withdraw Control Techniques Guidelines

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On Tuesday, May 8, 2018 the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) along with partnering trade associations, including the Michigan Oil and Gas Association, submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supporting the EPA’s plans to withdraw overreaching Obama-era requirements for existing oil and natural gas facilities.

The rules known as "control technique guidelines" (CTG) were issued in 2016 to curb releases of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). However, EPA is in the process of reconsidering its related 2016 methane rule for new and modified oil and gas sources, prompting the agency to withdraw the Control Technique guidelines.

Click Here to read the full comment letter

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