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Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

 
 
Managing editor, covers energy, policy and economic development.

Twitter: @ABalaskovitz
Email: [email protected]

Sunday, 18 December 2016 20:00

Business groups find common ground on energy policy

The Michigan Legislature on Thursday passed a pair of sweeping, bipartisan energy bills that just days before had divided business groups over whether the policy changes would negatively impact ratepayers.

Sunday, 11 December 2016 16:27

Excitement over Lowell renewable energy facility fades amid ongoing problems

LOWELL — The early excitement built up over a renewable energy facility in Lowell had begun to fade roughly a year ago, and formally ended on Dec. 1 when local officials moved to permanently cut ties with its operator.

Sunday, 27 November 2016 15:40

Energy bills head to lame-duck showdown; House Republicans, biz groups split

LANSING — Sweeping energy policy reform that has taken nearly two years to move through the state Legislature could face a contentious debate during the remaining days of the post-election lame duck session.


Sunday, 13 November 2016 13:41

Cannabis entrepreneur to marijuana start-ups: ‘Acquire or be acquired’

For the past two and half years, Hilary Dulany has been traveling between Oregon and Michigan to grow her small businesses amid the transformational change happening with the legal marijuana industry.

Sunday, 16 October 2016 19:21

Dealerships say Tesla should have to play by the same rules, but are the rules unconstitutional?

While considering buying an all-wheel-drive Tesla Model S electric vehicle in 2014, Jim MacInnes had to drive roughly four hours to Windsor, Ontario to give it a test drive.

Sunday, 02 October 2016 14:05

Pot-ential Boon? Michigan lawmakers take major step to legitimize marijuana industry

Eight years after voters approved the use of medical marijuana, Michigan lawmakers have agreed to a regulatory framework for the commercial growing and selling of marijuana to qualified patients.


Sunday, 18 September 2016 13:13

Charged debate? Firms raise concerns over Consumers Energy’s EV charging network plan

As Jackson-based Consumers Energy looks to build a statewide electric vehicle charging network, other companies in the sector have raised concerns about maintaining competition in the marketplace, both for vendors and drivers.

Sunday, 21 August 2016 14:28

The Trump Effect? Tight West Michigan House races may swing against business-backed candidates

At least two Republican-controlled state House seats in West Michigan are expected to be competitive in the Nov. 8 election as Democrats set lofty goals to retake a majority in the lower chamber.

Sunday, 07 August 2016 13:40

How family-owned businesses can navigate the complex network of marketplace scams

Fraudulent scams have grown ubiquitous across the legitimate marketplace, leaving a much more complex network of victims and challenging incorrect public perceptions about who is most at risk.


Sunday, 07 August 2016 12:50

As Lansing dithers on LGBT discrimination, feds increase civil rights enforcement

It’s an oft-heard line that you can be fired in Michigan just for being gay.

Sunday, 26 June 2016 10:46

Unfinished Business: A look at what’s next for Michigan lawmakers in 2016

Earlier this month, the state Legislature adjourned for most of the summer so lawmakers can focus on constituent issues in their home districts, as well as this year’s election. 

Sunday, 12 June 2016 15:20

For business groups, outlook is grim on proposed energy reform

Even though a pair of sweeping energy reform bills advanced in the state Senate late last month, key business groups stood opposed to the plans. 


Sunday, 29 May 2016 11:03

With corporate income tax comes volatility for Michigan, economists say

In 2009, Michigan State University economist Charles Ballard met with then-gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder to discuss tax policy at an Applebee’s off I-96 near Okemos.

Sunday, 15 May 2016 10:54

Business-backed reading standards held up in Legislature

West Michigan’s business community says it has a vested interest in how well third-graders can read. 

Sunday, 17 April 2016 16:13

DTE to spend billions on natural gas infrastructure amid transition from coal

Detroit-based DTE Energy is in the middle of a five-year, $2.5 billion gas and electric infrastructure upgrade that will have the utility investing millions into projects in West Michigan. 


Sunday, 03 April 2016 15:24

Michigan utility looks to meet renewable energy needs of large customers

JACKSON — Michigan’s second-largest electric utility says it is developing a program to meet the needs of large energy users who want more of their electricity to come from renewable sources

Sunday, 03 April 2016 15:17

Michigan ‘green bank’ could spur $3 billion in clean energy investment, report says

Midwest energy analysts say Michigan could leverage a $105 million public investment into roughly $3 billion in private clean energy development under what’s known as a “green bank.”

Sunday, 20 March 2016 18:13

Snyder looks to boost funding for popular skilled trades training program

Gov. Rick Snyder is asking state lawmakers to increase funding for the popular Skilled Trades Training Fund program as part of his budget for the 2017 fiscal year.


Sunday, 06 March 2016 14:59

Energy policy: ‘Always the bridesmaid, but never the bride’

State lawmakers remain focused on passing energy policy this year that preserves Michigan’s limited electric choice market and abandons renewable energy standards in favor of comprehensive planning requirements.

Sunday, 06 March 2016 14:51

Business groups balance priorities with need to solve Flint, DPS problems

As the state grapples with the Flint water crisis and a long-term funding solution for Detroit Public Schools, business advocates hope lawmakers will still be able to tackle policies that keep health care costs down, add transparency and help companies attract talent. 

Sunday, 21 February 2016 21:04

PACE slowly builds momentum in Kent County; Financing tool helps fund cost of renewables, energy efficiency projects

Advocates in West Michigan have spent nearly two years pitching Property Assessed Clean Energy financing to Kent County officials as one more tool in the Grand Rapids region’s economic development toolbox.


Sunday, 07 February 2016 23:44

Switch’s love affair with Michigan started with reliable, renewable energy

While a competitive tax structure was important, Las Vegas-based Switch Communications Group LLC had a different prerequisite before even considering opening a cloud-based data center in Michigan: reliable, renewable energy. 

Sunday, 07 February 2016 23:33

As renewable energy prices drop, business groups split on state mandates

As the price of wind and solar energy declines and even falls in line with fossil fuels, some policymakers have started to wonder if it’s time to expand Michigan’s renewable energy mandates.

Sunday, 07 February 2016 23:31

EVs continue to underperform in present era of cheap oil

Despite a growing number of plug-in electric vehicles on display at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, industry analysts say the segment has failed to reach the “aspirational” levels many had hoped.


Sunday, 24 January 2016 22:05

Business group welcomes changes to ‘insidious’ unclaimed property process

Business advocates in Michigan are applauding the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder over changes made late last year to the state’s abandoned and unclaimed property process.

Sunday, 10 January 2016 22:47

FCC auction presents potential windfall for TV broadcasters

Television stations around Michigan and nationwide are considering auctioning off valuable broadcast spectrum for potentially tens of millions of dollars to make room for mobile wireless development.

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