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  • published Voting 'Yes' on Proposal 1 in Land & Conservation 2020-09-25 16:35:44 -0400

    Voting 'Yes' on Proposal 1

    What is perhaps the largest civil rights movement in America since the 1960s is underway, and environmental groups and activists have had a reckoning with the environmental injustices in their field and around them. Among them is access to parks, trails and waterfronts, which Black, Brown and urban communities have long been disadvantaged to due to location and bigotry.

    Meanwhile, the number of people using these outdoor spaces has arguably never been higher. During a pandemic that has kept people distanced and in their homes, outdoor spaces have become a place where can move and relax freely. 

    Our parks and trails systems would not be a strong as it is today without the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. And a new proposal on the ballot would better allow ALL Michiganders to enjoy the outdoors in their own ways.

    Since 1976, the Trust Fund has turned fossil fuel fees and royalties into $1.2 billion in land acquisition and recreation. It has protected natural areas, kept water clean, offered free leisure to visitors and strengthened a vibrant tourism industry. There is a good chance your local park or trail was partially funded by it.

    Proposition One would lift the cap on its funding. It would also make a sound commitment to developing and renovating the parks, trails and other public spaces. Doing so would help the green spaces in our urban areas thrive, a key component to connecting communities who have long been kept away from nature to it. 

    The campaign Vote Yes on Prop 1 for MI Water, Wildlife & Parks has been instrumental in engaging and educating the state about the proposal, the Trust Fund and their impacts. MEC is proud to head and fund this campaign with The Nature Conservancy. Naturally, we've endorsed Proposal 1 as well.

    Want to join the movement?

    Make your pledge, become an endorser and learn more about Proposal 1 at Vote Yes on Prop 1 for MI Water, Wildlife & Parks' website here.

    Watch the campaign's promotional video for a quick glimpse at Proposal 1's future impact here.

    Learn about past and present initiatives made possible by the Trust Fund through Second Wave Media's Preserving Michigan series here.


  • House bill throws cold water on warming electric vehicle market

    A bill passed out of committee Wednesday would put the brakes on Michigan’s burgeoning electric vehicle market.

    The Michigan House Government Operations Committee passed House Bill 6233, sponsored by Rep. Jason Sheppard (R-Lambertville), in a 3-1-1 vote. The bill would prohibit vehicle manufacturers from selling their vehicles directly to consumers. These manufacturers would also be unable to service their vehicles in Michigan and conduct test rides.

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  • Historical markers reveal Michigan’s long legacy of environmental activists

    In 1959, E. Genevieve Gillette gathered conservation organizations and citizen activists like herself together. She was tired of the neglect faced by Michigan’s new state park system, which she had helped create.

    The Michigan Parks Association was born from that meeting, and Gillette, its president, fought to improve the funding and direction the state gave to Michigan’s parks.

    Soon after, she successfully lobbied the Michigan Legislature to pass a massive park bond. The following year, at 62 years old, she lobbied the U.S. Congress to pass a conservation fund and create Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Eventually, the two governments heeded all her demands.

    More than 60 years later, civil servants gathered around a remembrance for Gillette: a newly erected historical marker at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park near Muskegon. Now, residents and tourists can read how one Michigan citizen led the charge in creating, expanding and funding Michigan’s state park system.

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  • endorsed 2020-06-11 09:25:35 -0400

    100% Clean Energy Cities

    It’s time for Michigan to lead! Write your mayor today and urge them to join the #renewablecities movement today!

    Join the 100% Clean Energy Cities campaign and we will send you a sample letter to send to your mayor! 

    As the Trump Administration slashes environmental laws designed to protect public health and help us transition to renewable energy, mayors and local officials are leading our nation toward a healthier, stronger future by committing to 100% clean, renewable energy.

    It’s time for more Michigan communities to get on board! Write your mayor today!

    More than 58 U.S. cities have stepped up to combat climate change and reap the benefits of clean, renewable energy by committing to power their cities with 100% renewable electricity.  In Michigan, Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Northport have committed to 100% goals in the coming decades.

    If we powered all of Michigan with 100% clean energy sources, including for heating and transportation, we would create nearly 150,000 jobs and save the average resident close to $11,000 annually, according to Stanford University.


    About the Campaign

    Through the Michigan Climate Action Network, Michigan Environmental Council helped encourage Traverse City to commit to powering 100% of their city operations—including city buildings, streetlights, traffic signals and water treatment facilities—with renewable energy by 2020. The city is also committed to creating a plan to make all of Traverse City—not just city operations—carbon-neutral by midcentury.

    Many communities in Michigan have climate action plans designed to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, and others are actively campaigning to encourage their city to make the transition to 100% renewable energy. Our goal is to see 10 new communities commit to 100% clean energy.

    Why 100% Renewable Cities?

    As the price of solar and wind energy drops, and the impacts of pollution become more severe, the transition to 100% renewables is rapidly becoming a mainstream concept. In fact, more than 100 cities worldwide are powered with mostly renewable sources for electricity, and 40 cities get 100% of their electricity from renewables. Burlington, Vermont is one of these cities, and it is saving millions of dollars in energy expenses as a result.

    Many studies have demonstrated how entire states can achieve 100% renewable energy use, and that doing so would bring new jobs, better health, and cost savings. Hawaii passed a 100% renewable goal into law, and several other states are working toward similar goals.

    Setting strong renewable energy goals also helps cities attract the growing number of businesses looking for the price stability and innovation that comes with a clean energy economy. There are more than 100 major businesses with 100% renewables goals, including Michigan-based Herman Miller and General Motors which both plan to achieve 100% renewable electricity for all of their facilities worldwide by mid century.

    How can I get involved?

    Michigan Environmental Council hosts the Michigan Climate Action Network (MICAN) which is leading the “100% Cities” campaign. The MICAN website includes information on which cities have made a commitment, as well as a toolkit to help you guide your community towards 100% renewable energy.  

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  • signed up on Join 2020-06-11 09:52:53 -0400

    Join Us

    Join the Michigan Environmental Council email list to be the first to know about breaking news, upcoming events, and developments in Lansing as together, we work to protect the health of Michigan's people and environment.

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