Environmental Priorities

Inadequate conservation funding undermines Michigan’s future. Michigan has a constitutional mandate to conserve and protect our incredible natural resources and to protect its citizens from toxic pollution. We must find a permanent and stable funding source that enables Michigan to invest in our environment and protect human health.

Updates:

April 6, 2010 -- A new funding system in MIchigan that provides benefits for residents and helps the state’s budget too?  Yes! At the end of March, Governor Granholm signed into law the “Recreation Passport” system, which will increase the accessibility and affordability of our state parks and, at the same time, provide new financial support for our underfunded parks and recreation systems.

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January 13, 2010 -- In October of 2009 Governor Granholm issued an executive order (EO 2009-45) that recombines the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Natural Resources. Michigan is on the verge of creating the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) that provides an opportunity for our state to take the lead, as it did in the 70’s and 80’s, as a national example for environmental protection and conservation. Today, the Governor’s appointment of Rebecca Humphries as Director of the DNRE takes us one step closer.

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December 18, 2009 -- Bruce Rasher, the man appointed to oversee the transition that will recombine the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) with the Department of Natural Resources, will be issuing a report and recommendations to the Governor before the end of December.  Rasher has worked closely with the environmental community throughout the input process.  Did you know that there are efforts underway by some special interests to construct a new department with weakened regulatory powers?

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Global warming threatens our natural resources and our very way of life. It is one of the most urgent and complex problems we, as a society, face today. Our state legislature and governor must be part of the solution by implementing policies that protect our land, air, and water against the threat of global warming.

Updates:

April 22, 2010 -- Earth Day was a busy day at the Capitol, and Michigan LCV is happy to announce a big step forward for the ReEnergize Michigan campaign: legislation has been introduced to increase Michigan's energy efficiency standard.

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March 28, 2010 -- The ReEnergize Michigan Campaign held a press conference today to highlight a new report from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance that examines the job creation potential and economic benefits of raising Michigan's energy efficiency standard. 

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February 25, 2010 -- ReEnergize Michigan! has long called for Michigan to increase the state’s RES by creating incentives for clean, renewable energy industries, such as advanced batteries, wind and solar power.  In Lansing today, ReEnergize Michigan! applauded Michigan legislators for introducing a plan that would ramp up Michigan’s renewable energy standard, or RES, to 30 percent by 2025, up from the current 10 percent by 2015.

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January 11, 2010 -- Over the holiday break, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) granted an air permit for the controversial proposed coal-fired power plant in Bay City.  Did you know that the Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) released a report in 2009 that stated there is not enough demand for energy in Michigan to justify the construction of a new baseload plant for at least another decade?

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December 22, 2009 --  The 2009 Climte Conference in Copenhagen ended last week.  While the Copenhagen Accord is a successful start, some challenges remain.  Did you know that US Senators Levin and Stabenow are standing in our way to a clean energy future?

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 December 18, 2009 -- The state House worked late into the night on Friday, December 18 to vote down a bill from the state Senate that would have sidestepped recent energy reforms in favor of catering to dirty coal interests.  Did you know that that Speaker of the House, Andy Dillon, supported and pushed this Senate bill?

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Children are more vulnerable to toxins and pollution than adults. Michigan needs to provide for the well-being of its children by assuring the safety of the toys, products, chemicals, and air to which they are exposed every day.

Updates:

April 21, 2010 -- Michigan LCV Education Fund Campaigns Director Bill Kirk spent a day at the Capitol on Wednesday lobbying on behalf of the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health. The network's current focus in on convincing the Michigan Senate to take action on multiple legislative priorities that have passed the Michigan House of Representatives during this legislative session.

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January 26, 2010 -- After passing out of the Great Lakes and Environment Committee unanimously (13-0), House Bill 4699, a ban on the flame retardant, deca-BDE, passed the full state House of Representatives overwhelmingly, 94-6. Environmental and Health groups were thrilled to see the leve of bipartisan support.

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August 15, 2009 -- Environmental advocates joined health professionals, toy store owners, and concerned parents to raise awareness about toxic chemicals in children’s toys today. Did you know that some of the most popular toys on the shelves today contain unsafe levels of lead, mercury, arsenic, and other poisonous chemicals?

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Touching four of the Great Lakes, harboring more than 11,000 inland lakes, and enjoying more that 36,000 miles of rivers and stream, Michigan depends on water, loves water and is water. It defines our people and our place. It is critically important — in a state surrounded by water — that we not take for granted this precious resource.

Updates:

February 18, 2010 -- Did you know that Michigan is on the brink of an enormous invasive species disaster? Asian carp, which have infiltrated the Mississippi River, are poised to invade Lake Michigan. Their DNA has been found only 6 miles from Lake Michigan –past an electric fence designed to keep the non-native fish from entering the lakes. At this point, navigation locks are the only obstacles between the fish and the Great Lakes.  This week the Regional Coordinating Committee working to address the Asian carp issue held a public meeting in Ypsilanti, to allow for public comment and public airing of grievances.

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January 15, 2010 -- What if the water you drink, cook with, bathe in and recreate in was red, orange or yellow, would you still use it?  Would you consider it safe and allow your family and friends to use it?  A recent decision by the DEQ certainly indicates that they think it would be okay. The DEQ approved approved a state permit for a metallic sulfide mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula that has the potential to unleash sulfuric acid and contaminate our water.

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September 2009 -- Did you know that despite the passage of the Great Lakes Compact in 2008 — which was an enormous step in the right direction — there remain significant holes in our water protection laws?

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