News and Notes on the
Or What could be the future
News and Notes on the
Or What could be the future
BlueOval Plant no gift to the community
Kelli Scott, in her County Update published in the Shopper March 9, 2023 entitled “Ford’s BlueOval Battery Park to spark county economy”, presented a sunny opinion of the project, but when a closer look is taken, one based on facts, the forecast may be far less optimistic.
Scott, and others, claim this plant will create “2,500 new, good paying jobs” for our community. While there will be some positions that pay well, the majority of these new jobs will be line workers and Ford pays approximately $18 per hour to their factory workers, as reported in January of this year by Indeed.com and glassdoor.com. This pay results in an annual income in the $40,000 range, which although not quite in the US poverty category, is low for anyone in this area except perhaps a single person, living economically at best.
James Durian, CEO of MAEDA, claims that the factory will generate tax revenues. Yes, there will be some increase in payments from citizens that work at the plant, just as when anyone joins the workforce anywhere in the state. But there will be little, if anything, from Ford who will have a 15-year tax abatement and it will take even longer to recoup the millions of dollars in funding awarded to this project. These are our tax dollars being used for a private company - $100 from each man, woman, and child in the state.
The battery plant is projected to boost property values according to Scott. To what property does this refer? Certainly not to anyone living near the proposed site where air pollution, increased train and truck traffic, possible contamination of our wells and therefore our drinking water may occur, and a giant eyesore of a factory with 24/7 outdoor lighting will be featured. Will property values rise dramatically in Battle Creek, ”far” away from the factory? Probably not, for only a few of the upper level employees of the plant will be able to afford high priced homes, while the majority of the workers will seek economic housing anywhere they can find it. Remember, affordability will be key to those making so little money.
The 245 acres of land that Ford will place into a conservation easement that Scott presents as a gift to the community, a potential park or recreational area, has another side to it. The land is a strip of property that lies between the Kalamazoo River and the railroad tracks. It would serve absolutely no purpose to the company whatsoever. Additionally, The Calhoun County, Mi Marshall Megasite Site Readiness Study, prepared by Burns and McDonnell, acknowledges the likely presence of native American campsites along the river and creeks within the site acreage. By not disturbing the river way and the land adjacent to it, where most archeological sites or artifacts would be located, Ford is negating the need for a thorough archeological survey of the area. The environmental impact this proposed project would have on endangered and protected species was reviewed as well. And once again, by designating the 245 acre conservation easement, Ford gets off the hook by not disturbing the four state protected vascular plant species found in the park area. Unfortunately, the Indiana bat and the Eastern Massassuga rattlesnake, federally endangered and threatened species respectively, aren’t so lucky. The Burns and McDonnell report indicates the megasite “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect” these species. Is it going to help them? Any disruption of their natural habitat is not a good thing to species on the decline. The wonderful old trees along C Drive between 13 and 15 Mile Roads, that would have served the bats well over the summer, have already been removed.
Scott’s article states that the “project is a long-envisioned development on industrial-zoned land that has been marketed to international companies for decades”. First, only a small portion of this land was zoned “light industrial” over 40 years ago. The majority of the land was zoned agricultural until recent years when it was quietly converted to industrial zoning without the knowledge of the people in the township and it continued to produce valuable crops year after year. Even Burns and McDonnell refer to the acreage as mainly agricultural, growing soybean and corn crops. So, how could this project have been marketed anywhere for decades? It was not vacant land. It was not unproductive, nor unwanted. It was a contributing factor to our township’s economy and way of life. And if it was marketed, why were all the local residents of the township kept completely in the dark and local officials, planning such a gigantic enterprise, required to sign NDAs? Why the secret?
While the Burns and McDonnell study goes into great detail on the current air quality and potential soil contaminants currently present, there is no study that indicates how our air, land and water will be protected from the pollutants any factory of this magnitude would produce. At the Marshall Township Board meeting February 20, 2023, a professor from MSU described that the same qualities of the rich soil within the megasite that makes it such valuable and productive farm land, also make it highly susceptible to absorbing toxins and dispersing them across the land and into the river. That is truly frightening. The Enbridge disaster should have taught anyone in this area to appreciate and protect our Kalamazoo River and not let it be jeopardized for any reason.
The proposed development of the Marshall Megasite has been done without the input nor the consent of the people of Marshall Township. At Township meeting after meeting, since the beginning of this year when we were made aware of what was going on, citizens have voiced their opposition to this project. Thus far, our words have fallen on deaf ears. Everyone needs to make themselves aware of the risks this project presents to every aspect of our environment, and to the way of life of the Marshall and Marshall Township residents. It is not too late to end this disaster in the making.
Janet Daniels Borders, DVM
Residents within the marshall megasite responds to MAEDA CEO - Blue Oval Bad for Marshall and MichiganRead Now
BlueOval bad for Marshall and Michigan
The opinion piece written by James Durian, CEO of the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance, is the view of a non-resident employee doing a job that, if he succeeds at, will lead to bigger and better opportunities for himself long after he walks away from the disaster he helped create here in Marshall with the BlueOval EV battery plant.
Let’s look at the facts.
Janet Daniels Borders, DVM
Dale Ray Borders, DVM
A Veteran's open letter to Senator Peters to stop Ford's Blue Oval Battery Park with the chinese company CATLRead Now
Dear Senator Peters,
Good afternoon. I was born and raised in Marshall, Michigan. I am emailing regarding the proposed Megasite in Marshall, Michigan. Please consider supporting Senator Rubio’s Revoke act of 2023. The loss of agricultural land, historic farmsteads, and natural spaces for threatened wildlife are among the many reasons this proposed site is dangerous for my community, but the one that infuriates me the most is Ford’s partnership with CATL. How can we as Michiganders and supporters of Veterans allow Ford to partner with our greatest geopolitical adversary and use taxpayer dollars to subsidize the project? To allow a company with direct links to the Chinese Communist Party to operate in our state is an immense betrayal to our community of Michiganders and Veterans. Again, I ask that you support the Revoke act of 2023 and stop Ford’s Partnership with China. Thank you for your consideration.
- Respectfully sent,
An open letter from the president
The average person, whether here in Michigan or elsewhere around the country, has been told by politicians and companies that subsidies work, but they don’t understand just how much they really cost. They see big numbers and just don’t have the context to understand at a gut level exactly how much money we’re talking about here. That’s why we’ve spent a lot of time trying to come up with examples that people can understand about what kinds of other things Michigan could be doing with this much money.
Thank you for taking the time and effort to reach out to us, and I hope that some of this information is helpful to add to your discussions whenever the topic comes up. Thank you for being someone who cares about this issue, and who wants what’s best for our communities. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions, or if there’s any way we can help spread the word in your community. I’m always happy to come speak to community groups, or sit down with local elected officials to try to help them understand the issues in play.
John C. Mozena, President
The Center for Economic Accountability (a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit )
Commentary by Rebecca Glotfelty
sThe State of Michigan is going full-steam ahead with this corporate welfare project and corporate land grab despite so many red flags. This project inappropriately uses state and federal tax dollars. The amount of money spent in no way justifies the small return on the investment when compared to the enormous social, environmental and economic losses. This project is also a risk to our national security due to the Ford/CATL relationship. Ford has never manufactured an EV battery and can not do so without licensing technology from the Chinese Company CATL. Ford originally stated that Chinese managers will oversee the plant. Ford will be producing lithium batteries but CATL just announced it is working on a battery which uses sodium. Will the lithium batteries be old technology by the time the plant is up and running in 2026? As of now, China controls 50% of the world's lithium supply and CATL has the market share of battery sales world wide. Why are we bolstering a Chinese Mega company? This relationship makes America MORE dependent on China and the Chinese Government. Ford was just trying to get a patent to repossess one's car. What kind of technology will China be putting in every Ford car that is purchased by an American? Some software requires updates or you can't use them. Could my car suddenly freeze up in three years? We're not talking about Chinese toys. We are talking about this technology being used in a large percentage of American vehicles. We will be dependent on a technology controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. This is especially troubling as China continues to flex its muscle in the South China Seas. President Biden has vowed to come to Taiwan's defense. Could we end up at war with China? Maybe this is how China plans to control us? These are things we SHOULD consider before rushing into agreements. We must not be naive. Lastly, we are destroying nearly 2000 acres of farmland for this megasite. The Marshall Township Website calls it, "Some of the best farmland in Calhoun County" and therefore the state. Why are we destroying farmland during a global climate crises?! During a time of global food scarcity? America's Farmland is being lost to drought, flooding and fires. The breadbasket of the world - Ukraine, is currently being destroyed by Russia, causing people in Pakistan and Africa to go hungry. Why would Michigan destroy one of our most valuable resources when there are vacant industrial sites in our state? Agriculture is a multi-billon dollar industry in Michigan. This is some of the BEST farmland in Michigan yet we destroy it for EV Batteries, an unproven solution to our environmental crisis. Our Governor doesn't value farmland , but the Chinese Government does. China is rapidly buying up farmland across the country and it is becoming a growing concern among U.S. military officials. Some properties are located in close proximity to military bases and sensitive infrastructure. Stop the Megasite!
We are concerned residents who are oppossed to the State of Michigan's plant to create a 1,600 acre industrial park outside historic Marshall, Michigan. Instead we wish to see a 1,600 acre recreational area on this site which runs along two miles of the Kalamazoo River. Save Historic Marshall, Save Michigan's Agricultural Land and Protect Michigan's green spaces!