In April, the U.S. Postal Service was forced to shut down Oshtemo's mail processing facility to cut costs. But a new bill from U.S. Senator Gary Peters could reverse that and other closings across the country. The Senator’s plan would put a two-year moratorium on postal facility closures.
Peters says the moratorium can give Congress a chance to put together a comprehensive plan for the future of the Postal Service, without causing postal delays today.
“Let’s make sure we’re doing things efficiently and wisely," Peters says. "And that also means we need to look at the Postal Service to look at other ways that they can generate revenue. Issuing license for hunting and fishing, for example. Other types of revenue opportunities for them.”
The Postal Service is set to close 82 facilities in 2015 in order to cut costs. Peters says the closures are already causing headaches across rural Michigan. And not just in Kalamazoo.
“But if you live in a rural area, we have a situation up in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, as well, where you have very large distances," he says. "You look at closing a processing center and basically sending everything to Green Bay in Wisconsin. And not having a processing center available to folks in the U.P, there’s significant delays for people in rural areas.”
Peters also talked about the newly announced EPA limits on carbon emissions. The senator says he’s talking with Michigan’s utilities to make sure they can comply with the new rules, which would force power plants to dramatically cut carbon emissions by 2030. Peters says the rules need to go forward, but utilities must be prepared.
“They certainly want to be in a position where they can transition into more renewable energy," Peters explained. "They just want to make sure they have the time to do that so it doesn’t create large disruptions in their ability to provide reliable service, as well as create an environment where we don’t see large rate hikes for utility pairs. That we have a kind of glide path to create the transition necessary for the future."
Peters says Michigan has already been a leader in renewable energy. State officials say they’re reviewing the rules and will have a response by Labor Day.