Michigan Environmental Report

News from Michigan Environmental Council on public policies affecting the health of Michigan's people and environment

We all benefit from new climate laws. Even me and you

History has been made. After decades of education and advocacy from thousands across our state, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed landmark climate legislation into law. It will power the state with clean energy and set up our electric infrastructure so we can receive it cheaply and without fear of power outages.

There are plenty of powerful policies to discuss, but, as they say, all politics is local. I think my local story is worth telling. Not because it's remarkable but because it's not. I've come to realize climate change has shaped my life in quiet ways, and I've realized our new climate laws will shape my future for the better. 

If my middle-of-the-road Midwest life can be positively impacted thanks to climate laws, so will everyone's.

SEEDS sprouts change in northern Michigan

This month, I am delighted to shine a spotlight on one of the Michigan Environmental Council’s newest member organizations, the SEEDS Ecology & Education Centers. Based in Traverse City, SEEDS joined the Environmental Council team in September, and we are thrilled to welcome its unique voice.

Gov. Whitmer signs landmark climate laws

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made Michigan a national leader in the climate change fight Tuesday when she signed landmark legislation into law.

Her signature on the bills was the apex of a goal she made clear: a clean energy future. During her tenure, she launched the MI Healthy Climate Plan, invested in electric vehicle production, and called for legislative action.

Bold climate action advances in the Michigan legislature

Michigan’s fight against climate change took a huge leap forward last night as the Michigan House of Representatives approved landmark legislation advancing renewable energy generation, helping consumers save energy at home, and creating the foundation for a just transition to clean energy.

When lawyers and community come together, progress happens

By Abby Wallace

The logo of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center

This month I was very pleased to be able to profile one of our newest member organizations, though we have worked in alliance with them for years. A huge welcome to the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center (GLELC) to the Michigan Environmental Council family! Executive Director Nick Leonard was kind enough to sit down with me and share his insights about the GLELC’s history, mission, and current projects.

Senate-passed climate bills will improve lives statewide

Climate progress took a major step forward Thursday afternoon.

The Michigan Senate voted Senate bills 271, 273 and 502 out of its chamber in a 20-18 vote. The Clean Energy Future legislation would require utility companies to produce 100% clean energy by 2040, increase utility energy efficiency, and require the state's utility regulator to emphasize climate, affordability, and equity in its decisions.

Cleaner water is coming to all schools

Thousands of Michigan children are at risk of lead poisoning. They'll soon be protected at the places where they spend much of their days.

On Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law “Filter First” legislation: three bills that will require the installation of lead water filters in all schools and childcare centers. Costs will be offset by $50 million dollars set aside (so far) in the state budget.

Conserving land in Michigan's most developed region

By Ellen Vial

Water and shoreline in Lost Lake Nature Preserve (Photo by C Scott for Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy)

Conserving land in southeast Michigan is no small task. Not only is the state’s most developed region home to some of the most polluting industries in the country; keeping contiguous, natural parcels out of the hands of developers requires diligent effort. Lucky for us at the Environmental Council, Jill Lewis, executive director of our member group Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy (SMLC), is an expert.