Michigan has a rich agricultural history. As a daily consumer of dried cherries I'm concerned about the devastating loss of an estimated 97 percent of Michigan's cherry crop after our freakishly warm March and the freezes which followed. Many cherry-focused businesses in Michigan are now importing cherries from Poland and the state of Washington to meet orders normally filled by Michigan farmers. While there are programs to assist these farmers, we can't ignore the need to make other changes to avoid extreme weather events from wiping out another Michigan crop in the future.
Nationwide, extreme drought, wildfires and extraordinarily high temperatures wreak havoc on crops. While we may be able to escape the heat by going inside or taking a dip on one of Michigan's thousands of lakes, the same can't be said for our cherries and other crops. A leading contributor to warming temperatures and extreme weather events is carbon pollution from power plants. That is why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's move to significantly limit carbon dioxide emissions from future power plants is so critical to people, wildlife and our agricultural heritage.
More than 2.4 million people have come out in support of the EPA, including over 160,000 Michigan residents. I urge you all to let Sen. Debbie Stabenow know that you support limiting the pollution in our air and water, not only for the health of our families, friends and neighbors, but also because it's good for Michigan's agriculture, the economy and our farmers.
Carol Moncrieff Rose