Michigan, a climate laggard, plans to catch up, fast

New York Times reporter Coral Davenport writes that lawmakers in Michigan have long fought tough pollution controls; but the toll of flooding, lost crops and damage to the Great Lakes appears to be changing minds.


In a nutshell:

Michigan, a state known for its struggles with climate change impacts such as toxic algal blooms and wildfires, is now making a bold move towards climate action. Democrats in Michigan, who control the governor's office and both legislative chambers, are proposing some of the most ambitious climate laws in the world. Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "MI Healthy Climate" plan aims to generate all of Michigan's electricity from renewable sources by 2035 and eliminate greenhouse pollution from coal- and gas-fired power plants. While Republican lawmakers and industry groups oppose the legislation, Democrats argue that climate action is necessary to address the economic toll of climate change and position Michigan as a leader in emerging clean-energy jobs.

Key quote:

“For Michigan to do this would put it at the vanguard not just of state clean-energy policy but of global clean-energy policy,” said Dallas Burtraw, an analyst at Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan research organization. “Michigan is globally recognized as the industrial heart of America, and one doesn’t think of it as being a clean-energy leader. A lot of people will see this as a surprise.”

The big picture:

The adoption of renewable energy has the potential to promote cleaner air, reduce health burdens, and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future. Transitioning to renewable energy generation and eliminating greenhouse gas pollution holds the potential to yield significant improvements in human health by significantly reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This shift can help lower the incidence of respiratory diseases such as asthma and lung cancer, benefiting vulnerable populations.

Read more about the Michigan Health Climate plan at the New York Times.

Azerbaijani government criticized for silencing media ahead of climate summit

Azerbaijan faces accusations of suppressing media and activists as it prepares to host the UN Cop29 climate talks in November.

Fiona Harvey reports for The Guardian.

Keep reading...Show less
Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
Keep reading...Show less

FERC authorizes Mountain Valley Pipeline operations

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved Equitrans Midstream Corp. to commence operations on the Mountain Valley Pipeline, concluding years of regulatory and legal challenges.

Catherine Morehouse reports for POLITICO.

Keep reading...Show less

Copper recycling increases as demand soars

Copper manufacturers in Montreal are boosting recycling efforts to meet rising demand.

Jennifer McDermott reports for The Associated Press.

Keep reading...Show less

GOP accuses Wall Street firms of climate collusion

House Republicans released a report accusing major investment firms of colluding with climate groups to push for environmentally friendly investing, sparking a new controversy over ESG practices.

Rachel Frazin reports for The Hill.

Keep reading...Show less
toxic urban oilfields
Credit: Brook Lenker/FracTracker Alliance/Flickr

Toxic gas leaks from Texas oil fields continue unchecked

In Texas, thousands of residents are exposed to dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide from oil and gas wells, with regulators failing to address the health risks.

Will Evans, Caroline Ghisolfi, and Amanda Drane report for The Examination.

Keep reading...Show less

Clean air and water amendment delayed in California

A proposed amendment to California’s Constitution that would guarantee the right to clean air and water has been postponed for another year due to a lack of legislative progress.

Hayley Smith reports for The Los Angeles Times.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
planetary health diet

This diet will likely keep you alive longer — and help the planet

New research finds the Planetary Health Diet lowers our risk to most major causes of death.

environmental justice

LISTEN: Jose Ramon Becerra Vera on democratizing science

“In their own way, they’re becoming experts, not just of their experiences but also of the data collection process.”

The oil and gas industry’s radioactive problem: Q&A with Justin Nobel

The oil and gas industry’s radioactive problem: Q&A with Justin Nobel

“Of all the levels of radium in produced water or brine around the world that I’ve looked at, I have encountered none that are consistently as high as what comes out of the Marcellus Shale.”

environmental justice pittsburgh

Environmental justice advocates find hope, healing and community in Pittsburgh

Advocates and researchers gathered to not only discuss ongoing fights but victories, self-care and cautious optimism about the path ahead.

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.