Pages tagged "Communities"
Last year, Michigan set in motion its plan to fight climate change. It's method: move the state away from fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy. The MI Healthy Climate Plan sets bold goals for electric companies, for cars, for industry and for... buildings?
It may seem nonsensical at first, but buildings like our homes and our workplaces are major contributors of climate change. Stoves and heating may run on gas. Air conditioning and appliances may use massive amounts of energy. And windows and doors may let the wintry or hot air of the outdoors in, causing more heating or cooling to be used.
To best fight climate change, we must electrify our homes and make them as efficient as possible. The result is not only good for the environment. It's good for our personal health and our personal finances, too.
Now, in the wake of a Democratic takeover in the Michigan Legislature, influential State Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) is prepared to put this part of the MI Healthy Climate Plan in motion. Last session, she introduced the MI Affordable, Healthy Homes Proposal, which would invest $1.6 billion in surplus COVID dollars into building and renovating energy-efficient, pollution-free homes for the working and middle classes. It would also fund programs that train workers to complete these sorts of building projects.
Join Sen. Chang as she discusses the need for investments in healthy, affordable homes and buildings and what our homes of the near future might look like if her legislation passes. She'll be joined by Charlotte Jameson, chief policy officer of the Michigan Environmental Council and organizer of the Resilient Homes Michigan coalition.
Can't make the event live? Register and we'll send you a recording.
The Capitol Connection webinar series is generously sponsored by:
Gas prices are slowly dropping across the state and nation, as they have been for two months. That’s thanks to an increase in gasoline production, federal initiatives, and a cutback on driving.
It’s what economists call the “rocket and feather” effect. Gas prices shoot up quickly and fall slowly. Unlike a falling feather, though, the slow drop in gas costs is painful. Gas prices are still abnormally high. That in turn, is making the cost of many products, which are dependent on vehicles, to be abnormally high, too.
People have endured this expensive cost of living for too long. For some, it’s a frequent inconvenience. For others, it’s another dent in their already too-strained paychecks, a sacrifice of comfort.Read more
This is big. Like, really big.
It's not often we get to celebrate a truly good environmental win. Sometimes good legislation is dead on arrival. Sometimes it stalls out as a new guard of politicians arrives. And sometimes good policy is paired with the ambivalent or bad.
But on March 30, Gov. Whitmer signed into law $2.5 billion in funding to better water, parks and communities, and it's almost wholly good news. It stems from earlier proposals by Gov. Whitmer and Republican Sen. Jon Bumstead, and it's supported by leadership from both political parties.Read more
It began with a skim through the Yellow Pages.
Lynn McIntosh needed an environmental lawyer. Her thick phonebook yielded only one: AJ Birkbeck, Fulcrum Law.
So she gave him a call, and a short while later she was driving from small-town Rockford to East Grand Rapids in her rundown ’97 Mercury van.Read more
Healthier, more affordable homes; cleaned-up communities; and a premiere electric vehicle workforce could soon be coming to Michigan.
It was all in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's vision for billions in unused American Rescue Plan dollars, which she revealed Monday afternoon.
The Michigan Environmental Council applauded her proposal, noting its emphasis on clean energy jobs and smart development will create financial and environmental resiliency.Read more
This blog post is the first in of "Bellringers," a quarterly series highlighting the major accomplishments of Michigan Environmental Council member groups.
When torrential rain hit Sandra Turner-Handy’s Detroit home in late June, her basement was immediately flooded.
She spent the next few days pumping out water, throwing out furniture, fixing a busted water heater and, worst of all, discarding the personal keepsakes of her late mother.
Then came two other “once-a-century” storms.Read more
This summer, Karen Harrison has watched flowers bloom, frogs plop into water and salamanders waddle across grass from her backyard against the Au Sable River. Then, as summer turns to fall turns to winter, she’ll watch the tree foliage fall away, and in that newfound emptiness, she will take in the full scope of the river, a ribbon of cerulean cutting against the white.
It is this dynamism that Harrison loves best about the Au Sable and the Upper Manistee Rivers some three miles away. The rivers and the worlds in miniature they create perpetually, subtly move and change over the days and seasons.Read more
The Michigan Environmental Council and 30 organizations and municipalities outlined the ways Michigan buildings codes could save residents and businesses money and fight climate change in a letter of recommendations sent to the state.
In a letter to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the coalition urged the inclusion of robust energy efficiency and electrification provisions in the update of Michigan's energy conservation code, which governs the process of constructing homes and businesses across the state.Read more
A group of 13 organizations urged the state to protect West Michiganders from the heart and lung diseases smog exacerbates in a recent public comment filing.
The group, led by the Michigan Environmental Council, urged the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to allow Allegan, Berrien and parts of Muskegon counties' ozone (aka, smog) air readings to stand as recorded. Readings exceed safe smog levels for public health and, as such, would make the areas fail to meet air pollution standards.Read more
In April, Michigan House Republicans set forth budgets that, if approved, would send our state into a tailspin of instability, threatening the lives and livelihoods of Michiganders in every political district.
House Bills 4395 and 4397 passed out of the Michigan Legislature with only Republican approval, and not all Republicans at that. If made law, the Departments of Natural Resources (MDNR) and Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) would only be able to function about 12 weeks at a time on budgets 25% of what they are now.Read more