Shaking Off the Rust: Michigan’s Guv Brings State into Climate Fight

February 5, 2019

Here in Michigan, newly elected Guv Gretchen Whitmer has transformed the Department of Environmental Quality into the Department of Environment,Great Lakes, and Energy,  (DEGLE?) and joined a multi-state climate agreement.

She auspiciously named my friend Liesl Eichler Clark head of the new agency. See Liesl above in my wind energy video from last year.

Regulatory mechanisms in place to encourage renewables, big public education effort bearing fruit. In the last week, we’ve seen announcements for huge new solar and wind developments. Stay tuned.

Inside Climate News:

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan signed orders on Monday to revamp the state’s environmental policy apparatus, becoming the latest newly elected Democratic leader in an industrial swing state to pick up the reins of action on climate change.

Whitmer is creating a new office of climate and energy that will coordinate efforts across state government to address climate change and will ensure that climate change is a consideration in the vetting of new policies.

She also signed an order to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of governors who commit to upholding the principles of the Paris climate agreement. Michigan is the 20th governor to join, following similar actions by others who came to power after running green campaigns and toppling Republican incumbents. In the past few weeks, the governors of Illinois and New Mexico have also joined.

Michigan stood out as a fulcrum of Donald Trump’s narrow electoral victory. It’s an economic monument to the internal combustion engine, but also a place where the urgency of confronting environmental challenges, including climate change, can’t be ignored.

“We see this as part of a larger trend we’re seeing across the country with new governors who ran on climate, who ran on transitions to 100 percent clean energy,” said Sara Jordan, manager of the League of Conservation Voters’ Energy for All campaign. “I think you’re seeing a lot of these governors not wanting to be left behind in this transition.”

Gretchen Whitmer in the Detroit Free Press:

Tomorrow, the temperature is expected to be around 50 degrees. That’s a 100 degree difference from last Thursday, when parts of Michigan experienced -52 degree weather with windchill.

This is just another example of the impacts that climate change will have on our state if we don’t get to work to mitigate its’ effects. The science is in, and the health of our kids, our families, and our seniors is at risk unless we start working to combat climate change.

I’m committed to lowering Michigan’s greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pollution, and I’m ready to work with everyone else who wants to take steps to protect our state from the threats that climate change poses to our overall health.

North American Wind Power:

Emerging Clean Energy Leader: Michigan
For tackling several core issues integral to realizing the potential of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as customer-sited solar, energy storage and wind.

Michigan is quickly emerging as a proactive leader on clean energy issues as the state addresses several foundational regulatory policies impacting the deployment of clean energy on the grid: namely, interconnection rules, grid modernization and integrated distribution system planning.

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