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‘Green’ rocket launch?

To the Journal editor:

When I heard of a rocket launch at K.I. Sawyer, it seemed an appropriate use consideration for an old air force base. When the site was changed to Granot Loma, to the surprise of public officials and the general public, I became skeptical.

The reason given for the change is the danger of a vertical launch over inhabited land. This means we were misled and Sawyer was never in consideration for a vertical launch.

Interestingly, Oscoda/Wurtsmith Airport, which is on Lake Huron, was awarded the horizontal launch. Based on information shared with the public, Oscoda would be appropriate for the vertical launch and Sawyer for the horizontal launch.

Why, then, choose a pristine forested area when a developed industrial site was available? Especially for a so called “green” project, a dubious claim.

“Green” is not the same as “Green Washed.” The latter is the appearance of environmental practices while the product or industry remains problematic and unsustainable. With research, I discovered there is a “greener” rocket fuel. Though the old fuel is so toxic (and expensive) it was not difficult to make something “greener.” Unfortunately, a cheaper “greener” fuel does not make the industry “green.”

Here are some metrics for Michigan Aerospace Manufacturer’s Association to consider for a truly Green project:

1. Re-use developed industrial areas vs. cutting forested areas.

2. Become 100% carbon neutral, from cradle to grave, for the full operation.

3. Become a certified B Corporation — certifying “social and environmental performance”

4. Guarantee debris inadvertently dropped onto land and water is biodegradable, non-toxic and/or easily recovered. Things do not degrade in cold, fresh water as they do in salt water.

5. Set aside a huge fund in perpetuity to guarantee costs incurred from environmental contamination will be born in full by the companies involved, and never by taxpayers.

NANCY USCHOLD

Marquette

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