The city of Lansing will be spending more tax dollars in the short run for environmentally friendly upgrades, but it's something Mayor Virg Bernero says will save money down the road... and will limit pollution and gas emissions in the city.
"It may cost us more upfront but it will pay off in the long run," the Mayor said. "We'll be saving money, using energy more efficiently, and also saving the environment."
Mayor Bernero has wanted to sign an executive order making Lansing greener... for more than a year. It requires the city to use renewable energies in all operations. The initiative includes new flex fuel and hybrid vehicles, along with more energy efficient light bulbs.
"We're making a statement today that Lansing is in the map in terms of sustainability," he said. "We're committed to economic development and the environment and for the first team we realize that we can do both together."
The Mayor and city will work with several environmental groups including a research team at Michigan State University. The researchers will use computers to monitor factory pollution and car emissions... and find out where they're coming from.
The data will help keep Lansing meet its goals of cutting pollution and reducing energy consumption by 10% by the year 2010.
"It's difficult to measure carbon dioxide emissions so we'll be able to measure those and bring some science into making those calculations," said MSU researcher Dr. David Skole.
The initiative will begin immediately with greener products replacing older models.