Interview with Soren Anderson on Energy Policy

IPPSR Policy Fellow Fabiola Yanez interviewed IPPSR Forum speaker and Faculty Affiliate Soren Anderson, an economics professor and expert on energy and environmental economics. Fabiola Yanez: At the IPPSR forum, you focused a lot on the Clean Power Plan, the options for cutting emissions include investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, natural gas, nuclear power and …

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The Silent City Killer

Michigan cities owe a staggering $7 billion (link is external) in unfunded OPEB liabilities. I recently published a study (link is external) which examines liabilities (debt) for cities in Michigan, particularly OPEB liabilities. OPEB stands for Other Post Employment Benefits, i.e. healthcare plans/benefits for retired workers. A large amount of city operating costs are city …

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Trust in Government 1995-2015

Since 1995, Michigan State University’s State of the State Survey has tracked the views of Michigan residents on a wide array of topics. This survey, a part of MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, asks questions about trust in government once a year. The data tell some powerful stories about the attitudes of …

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Right to Work Effects Overblown

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s decision to pursue a right-to-work law in 2012 drew massive protests to the Michigan Capitol, moving state politics momentarily to the center of national attention. Each side predicted monumental changes stemming from the law, which went into effect in March 2013 and outlawed mandatory payments of union dues as an employment …

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2015 NAEP Scores: A Look at Performance in the U.S. and Michigan

In late October, the National Center for Education Statistics released the results of the 2015 National Assessment for Education Progress (NAEP), a nationally-administered exam often referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card.” The NAEP is administered every two years to a sample of 4th and 8th graders in each state.  Students are tested in reading and mathematics …

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The night life

This fall, our field team is out conducting electrofishing surveys on sixteen lakes in Michigan (video). Our goal is to determine if changes to shoreline habitats are impacting the growth, reproduction, and population sizes of Largemouth Bass. When we catch Largemouth Bass, we also compare what they were eating to the habitats in which they …

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Amik Minis

Just in from a weekend at Beaver Island. I was up there with my friend and colleague Kyle Whyte, and my student Zach Piso. Kyle is scoping out the possibility of a workshop/retreat focused on environmental philosophy, and he has the idea the Beaver Island might be a good location for it. There are some …

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Mapping Michigan’s lake habitats

Our main hypotheses are that habitats affect the the distribution, abundance, diets, and growth rates of Largemouth Bass. How do we get this habitat data? In previous posts I’ve discussed how we catch fish and collect their gut contents, so this article will focus on our vegetation mapping. Vegetation mapping techniques have advanced rapidly in …

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Another Cup

Passing through an indiscernible hiatus our cruise vessel steams quietly into the safe harbor of routine activity. Yes, folks, it’s September. If you didn’t notice any major change of key it’s probably because the start of any month is kind of arbitrary. It’s the job of bloggers everywhere to chronicle these passages, holding them out …

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The Monarchs are in Michigan!

Yesterday I was very excited to see my first monarch caterpillars of the year on Michigan State University’s campus, in the 4-H Children’s Garden.  The first monarch butterflies were only sighted in Michigan in mid-May, but the vast majority were sighted the past two weeks, as seen on the Journey North maps created by reports …

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Michigan Bill for Tail to Wag the Dog — Prohibition on Federal Food Safety Law Enforcement

Michigan Representatives McMillin, Hooker, and Lund have introduced Michigan House Bill 5336, which would prohibit enforcement of federal law regulating food that was “produced in and remains in” Michigan. Violations of the state law would be punishable by fines or imprisonment or both. Potential law school exam question: “Discuss the errors in understanding of the United …

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