If you’re ready to get involved in an issue you care about, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters can help. Often something as simple as a phone call or an e-mail can make a huge difference.
Current Action Alerts:
Tell the DEQ: Get Michigan's Fracking Rules Right
Fracking uses millions of gallons of water that is pulled from our lakes, rivers, and streams over a short period of time. That water becomes so polluted with a toxic cocktail of undisclosed chemicals that not one drop can be returned safely to our waterways. Early this year the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) proposed an update to the laws governing fracking in Michigan, but that update fails to ensure our water will be fully protected from contamination and over-extraction associated with fracking.
The DEQ is collecting public comments on its proposed fracking rules through July 31st, 2014. This is our chance to tell the DEQ to revise the rules so that they adequately protect our lakes, rivers, streams and public health. Sign your name to Michigan LCV's petition urging the DEQ to adopt stronger clean water safeguards against fracking.
Tell the DEQ: Reject Attempts to Develop Michigan's Dunes
Michigan's iconic sand dunes are under attack. In 2012, Michigan's elected officials enacted wrongheaded legislation that gouged protections for our dunes by drastically weakening the state's Critical Dunes Act. Now the damaging consequences of that action are becoming all too clear. Developers are applying for permits to ram roads through the unique and fragile coastline, in hopes of replacing natural dunes with huge homes and long driveways.
The latest assault centers on 130 beautiful acres along the coast of Lake Michigan in Saugatuck. Developers have asked the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for a permit to develop the historic and pristine site. With your help we can tell the DEQ that Michiganders do not support developing our dunes. Use the form to submit a comment to the DEQ on the permit application. We don't have any time to waste - the DEQ is accepting public comments only until June 23rd.
The Time is Now: Help Michigan Transition from Coal to Renewable Energy
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) carbon reduction rules for existing power plants will fight climate change and significantly reduce air pollution. The rules are a common sense approach to limit previously unlimited carbon emissions from our nation’s largest carbon polluters. Power plants are responsible for 40 percent of carbon pollution in the U.S., which contaminates Michigan’s lakes, rivers, and streams and damages our health.
The EPA’s proposed rules give states the power to decide what policies to put in place to meet the carbon reduction goals. Michigan has a huge opportunity to capitalize on our clean energy successes so far by crafting solutions that accelerate our transition from coal to clean, renewable energy. The Snyder Administration should develop solutions that put renewable energy and energy efficiency front and center. Send a message to Governor Snyder and the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Urge them to meet the EPA’s goals by developing solutions that continue to grow Michigan’s clean energy economy, improve our air and water quality and protect our public health.
Tell Congress: Stop Weakening Protections Against Toxic Chemcials
Mercury, bisphenol-A and flame retardants are found in everyday products, and now they are seeping into the Great Lakes. Toxic chemicals are contaminating our freshwater and the fish we eat and endangering the health of communities across Michigan. The primary protection we have against exposure to harmful toxins is a nearly four decade old piece of legislation called the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA). But this outdated legislation is past its prime and it has failed to adequately protect our health and our environment.
Instead of getting to work passing new, effective toxic chemical regulations, Congress is considering a bill that would only further weaken our already inadequate protections. The US House is taking up a supposed update to the TSCA - the Chemicals in Commerce Act. The Chemicals in Commerce Act is misleading legislation that erodes the current authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and of individual states to regulate harmful chemicals. Two of Michigan’s representatives in Congress sit on the US House Committee that will soon vote on the bill, and they need to hear from you. Tell U.S. Representatives Dingell and Upton to oppose the Chemicals in Commerce Act.
Tell Michigan Legislators to Stop Trashing the Definition of Renewable Energy
What do you think when you hear the words “renewable energy?” Would you picture petroleum coke (petcoke), a dirty byproduct of the oil refining process? Would you picture burning discarded materials like plastic? Likely not. But if you asked State Representative Aric Nesbitt that question, his answer would surprise you. Representative Nesbitt introduced a bill (House Bill 5205) that would gut the current definition of renewable energy and throw open the doors to burning industrial waste and petroleum byproducts in the name of renewable energy.
Calling dirty, polluting energy sources “renewable energy” flies in the face of common sense and poses a real threat to the health of Michiganders across the state. Incineration of hazardous waste and petroleum byproducts releases harmful toxins and air pollution that cause asthma and heart disease. Also, by eliminating the current definition of renewable energy, Nesbitt’s bill undermines the progress Michigan has already made towards a real renewable energy future. Tell members of the House Energy and Technology Committee to support truly clean, renewable energy and a healthy, vibrant future for Michigan by rejecting House Bill 5205.
Tell Governor Snyder: Give a pass to polluters? Give me a break.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) cut two of Michigan’s largest polluters a break this week when it lowered air quality standards to meet the needs of Marathon oil refinery and Severstal steel plant, both in Detroit. Instead of protecting the health of Michiganders living near both industrial plants and the quality of the air we all breathe, the DEQ weakened the rules so that both plants can continue letting loose toxic chemicals without facing penalties. Severstal's track record is especially egregious, with 38 air quality violations to their name. The DEQ should push back and hold them accountable, not change the rules in their favor.
Michigan LCV scored the decision with a bright red mark on How Green is Your Governor? --- our running scorecard for Governor Snyder’s administration and the agencies he directs. Send Governor Snyder a score update and tell him lowering the bar for clean air moves Michigan in the wrong direction >>
Stop the raid on Michigan's Natural Resources Trust Fund:
Michigan’s Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) is a constitutionally guaranteed promise that Michiganders will always be able to preserve, protect and enjoy our forests, beaches, lakes and streams. The NRTF was expressly created to acquire and develop state parks and public land, and it is overwhelmingly supported by Michiganders, who voted to permanently protect the NRTF by adding it to our state’s constitution. Every year we see lawmakers attempt to raid the NRTF to dredge harbors, fill potholes, pave more roads through state land or fill many other momentary budget shortfalls.
This year is no different. A few state representatives in Lansing are eyeing the NRTF as the answer to their budget shortfalls for road maintenance. They propose that we strip the NRTF of more than half of its capped amount and slash its income by 80 percent moving forward, all to make up for their shortcomings in budgeting for Michigan’s roads. We’ve said it before, and now it’s time to say it again: The NRTF is not a legislative piggy bank for any budget shortfall. Contact your state representative and tell him or her to stop the raid >>
Tell Gov. Snyder: Stop Selling out the Saugatuck Dunes:
Recently, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved a permit to pave a two-mile long road through critical sand dunes along one of the most pristine stretches of Lake Michigan shoreline, just outside of Saugatuck. The permit will pave the way for a multi-million dollar housing development, a condominium complex and a new marina, all atop fragile sand dunes, adjacent to vulnerable wetlands, and in view of Lake Michigan. Not exactly preserving the “Pure Michigan” landscape that has been recognized nationally as one of the most pristine vistas and beach areas in the country. This decision can be traced back to our state legislature, which passed legislation to roll back protections for critical dunes in the summer of 2012. We need your support to demand that our decision makers right these wrongs. Click here to take action and tell Governor Snyder to stop selling out the sand dunes >>
Tell Your State Legislators: Michigan's Renewable Energy Standard is a Success Story, Don't Let It Expire
The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) releases an annual report on the impacts of Michigan's renewable energy standard, which established a goal of generating 10 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2015. This year's report was released just a few weeks ago, and it is full of valuable information that needs to be shared with your state legislator.
The MPSC report confirms that Michigan's renewable energy standard is a success story. To date, it has generated $2.2 billion in economic activity and the report shows that renewable energy projects are, on average, almost half the cost of coal-powered projects. It confirms that Michigan is on track to meet, or exceed, the current goal.
Here’s the catch: Michigan's renewable energy standard expires in 2015, and we have no plan to replace it. As state legislators consider action on clean energy this year, they need to know the facts and figures that show the successes of Michigan's renewable energy standard. Click here to tell your state legislators to take the lead on clean energy policy before our goals expire in 2015 >>
Tell the EPA: Get to the Bottom of the Mining Truth
In northeastern Minnesota, near the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area, a proposed copper-nickel (sulfide) mine risks the clean waters of Lake Superior. Approval or denial of permitting will set a precedent for how other mines in the Great Lakes region will be evaluated, including those in Michigan. Sulfide mining unleashes acidic liquid from rock formations, which can leach mercury and other toxic chemicals into our region’s clean water supply. As Great Lakes states, we know that what is bad for Minnesota’s water is bad for Michigan’s too. PolyMet Mining’s NorthMet project in Minnesota is a mine proposal riddled with incomplete and inaccurate information. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in a position to weigh in on their proposal and insist on a plan that meets the highest clean water standards. Click here to write to the EPA and demand a plan that is complete and fully protects the Great Lakes >>
Tell Key Legislators: Energy Efficiency Pays Off
Energy efficiency is the cleanest, greenest form of energy, and it pays off. The Michigan Public Service Commission estimates that for every $1 invested in Michigan's energy efficiency programs, customers see $3.83 in savings from avoided energy costs. Those numbers have particular impact in Michigan, where energy rates are some of the most expensive in the region. Energy efficiency programs lower costs and protect our natural resources, but Michigan's current programs expire in 2015 and there is no plan to replace them. Click here to write to members of the House and Senate Energy and Technology Committee and tell them to support energy efficiency programs post-2015.
Tell President Obama: Stop Asian Carp From Invading The Great Lakes
To date, we have all been too short-sighted in predicting the dangers of an Asian Carp invasion in the Great Lakes. The chaos they would cause would completely disrupt the Great Lakes ecosystem, create leaping 100 pound hazards to boaters, and devastate the $7 billion annual fishing industry.We cannot afford to be caught unprepared. Add your name to tell President Obama to use his executive authority to completely close off the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River.
Protect Michigan's Biodiversity:
Legislators in Lansing are taking it upon themselves to drastically redefine conservation and limit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ ability to protect Michigan’s natural resources and endangered species. The anti-biodiversity bill passed in the Senate along party lines. Now it sits with the House Natural Resources Committee and Chairwoman Andrea LaFontaine. Legislators return to Lansing from Spring Break next week and protecting Michigan’s biodiversity needs to be first on their to do list. Contact your State Representative and urge them to tell Chairwoman LaFontaine to stop this bill and stand up for Michigan’s public land. >Click here to take action
If Chairwoman LaFontaine is your State Representative write to her directly. >Click here to take action
Letter to the Editor:
You can also send a letter to the editor to voice your support for environmental issues. Call our Ann Arbor office at (734) 222-9650, for newspaper contacts and template letters you can tailor to your community. > Read more about sending a letter to the editor