mine

Cassidy Hough

Steve Smith has explored old caves ever since he was a kid — usually illegally.

 Now he just does it legally.

 

“Listen to the water dripping, and bats, and you can smell the timbers and almost visualize what the miners were going through. I have a passion for this.” 

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Researchers at Michigan Technological University will pump water down mine shafts in the Upper Peninsula, spinning hydroelectric turbines along the way.

Roman Sidortsov, professor of Energy Policy at Michigan Tech, says that could generate renewable energy. Sidortsov says the UP relies on importing electricity that comes from fossil fuels, but this research could provide a homegrown alternative for the region.

"You can basically start developing your own energy," Sidortsov says. "[These] kinds of installations do generate quite a bit of economic activity."

Aaron Selbig

When you think of hydraulic fracturing, Michigan may  not be the first state that comes to mind. But according to The FracTracker Alliance in Cleveland, Ohio – a group that studies the global oil and gas industry – Michigan is playing an increasing role in fracking.

That’s because the fracking process requires a special kind of sand that’s found near the Great Lakes.

Next month, a decision could be made on whether to sell thousands of acres in the Upper Peninsula to a Canadian mining company, Graymont Inc.

It would be the largest sale of public land in Michigan’s history.