Feedback (Mar 1-7)

In response to last week's cover story ("Pipe dreams: Nexus wants to use eminent domain to ram a pipeline through Michigan and Ohio — and you to help pay for it," March 1), we recieved the following letter from Pete Ternes,a spokesman from DTE Energy.

Dear Metro Times editors,

Your recent article regarding the NEXUS natural gas transmission project articulated every possible claim against the project and we were disappointed not to see a more informative article.

There are some important things your readers should know about the benefits of the project to Michigan consumers and businesses. For example, did you know access to low priced natural gas is needed to enable Michigan power plants to achieve significant CO2 — greenhouse gas — emission reductions from current electric generation in the state?

In the coming years DTE Energy will be winding down most of its coal-fired electric generating plants, replacing them with natural gas and renewables, which will lead to more than a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. This cannot happen without additional capacity of natural gas to generate base load electricity levels that all residents and businesses in Michigan count on.

Contrary to the article, DTE rate customers will not be funding the project. DTE's Gas Storage and Pipeline business is a partner in the NEXUS project and not a part of the regulated DTE gas utility.

NEXUS will connect to the DTE gas utility's existing infrastructure and while both DTE gas and electric utilities will use a portion of the natural gas for homes, businesses, and electric generation, NEXUS will pay DTE to transport additional natural gas along its system to other utilities, customers, and businesses to the west and north.

Also contrary to the article's headline, NEXUS does not and will not use eminent domain as a negotiating tool. NEXUS begins each and every easement negotiation with the expectation that a mutual agreement can be reached with the landowner and has a proven track record of doing so. To date NEXUS has reached negotiated easement agreements with nearly 90 percent of Michigan landowners where the project will be located.

A ready supply of low-cost nearby U.S.-produced natural gas will be a competitive advantage for Michigan's economy, its businesses, and families. It is essential to the needed transition from high carbon energy production to a low carbon future. In short, the NEXUS project is good for Michigan.

Reader "IUNewsTalk" wrote:

Well-researched article. Thank you, Metro Times.

In response to our online coverage of excessive use of force from a Detroit Police Department officer (see this week's news feature for the full story), reader "Just Sayin'" wrote:

A tenured Kindergarten teacher told me this story:

"Every year, when I met my class, I would ask three questions:

1. Your name.

2. What do you want to be when you grow up?

3. Why do you want to do that?

Now, a certain portion of the boys always wanted to be police. Their reasons were usually the same (as the nurses and doctors, etc.), that they wanted 'to help people.' That was the first decades I taught.

In the last dozen or so years, a certain portion of the boys wanted to be cops. The reasons varied, but the usual answer (to: why?) was "so I can kick ass.'"

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