Capital Catch-Up: August 1, 2022
Correction: In last week’s edition of the Capital Catch-Up, copy editing errors mistakenly named gubernatorial candidates Ralph Rebandt and Ryan Kelley. Thank you to our readers for catching the errors!
Consumers Energy IRP Promises Meaningful Climate Action… Will DTE Keep Up in 2023?
On the heels of significant emissions reduction and a clean energy rollout promised in Consumers’ Energy Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), DTE Energy, Michigan’s other major electric utility, will file its next IRP this fall. IRPs are a legally required description of which energy resources Michigan utilities plan to use over the next five-plus years, and they present a key opportunity for Michiganders to influence how utilities source their power.
DTE Energy’s upcoming IRP represents an important moment for Michigan’s climate goals. To reach a 100% clean economy by 2050 as laid out in Governor Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan, experts have stated we need our power sector to reach carbon neutrality by 2035; to accomplish that, we need both our utilities to implement aggressive plans for decarbonization now.
Unfortunately, DTE has historically lagged in transitioning to cleaner, more efficient, and more affordable sources of energy. The company is currently listed in the top 25 most carbon-emitting utilities in the country, and they are the only major Michigan utility that has not publicly committed to retiring all of its coal plants (Consumers has agreed to retire theirs by 2025).
With Your Help, We Can Push DTE Towards Carbon Neutrality
Before filing their Integrated Resource Plan with the Michigan Public Service Commission, DTE is soliciting public input on what should be in the Plan. Michigan LCV needs your help to make DTE’s upcoming IRP their most aggressive step towards carbon neutrality by 2050.
In your comment, we encourage you to ask DTE to:
- Retire all coal by 2030, expedite the retirement of the Belle River coal plant to 2025-2026, and retire at least two units of the Monroe plant by 2028
- Match or exceed Consumers Energy’s commitment to build at least 8,000 MW of solar energy and 550 MW of battery storage
- Avoid building new natural gas infrastructure, including biogas, and stop investing in new, out-of-state natural gas.
Stay tuned for future editions of the Capital Catch-Up to stay updated on DTE’s IRP and the fight for carbon neutrality by 2050!
Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin (finally) Reach Budget Deal on Clean Energy Package
After months of flip-flopping on domestic climate legislation, Sen. Joe Manchin (D – West Virginia) seems to have finally reached an agreement with Sen. Leader Chuck Schumer (D – New York) on a bill, dubbed the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’. The legislation invests $369 billion into energy security and climate change to reduce carbon emissions, cut the federal deficit over the next 10 years, and address inflation. If passed, it will be the largest federal investment in climate change ever. Read the League of Conservation Voters’ SVP of Government Affairs’ statement on the investment here. Stay tuned for more information.
MI Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Critical Dune Protection
Last Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance in their complaint against a local company’s efforts to develop a critically protected dune area on Lake Michigan (NorthShore Development Corp). The decision, which will allow the Alliance to continue in the legal appeal process to stop the development, is a big win for all coastal protection in Michigan because the ruling enables and clarifies citizen standing in bringing suit to enforce local zoning. You can read more about the win here.
NOAA Training on Natural Coastal Management – Critical Lessons Before the Water Rises Again
Registration is now open for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s two-part course on Nature-Based Solutions for Coastal Management. Nature-based solutions for coastal management provide better protection from erosion than their built counterparts (seawalls, rip rap) while improving coastal habitats and resilience. Michigan LCV and partners have worked to promote legislation, permitting programs, and dune management programs that incorporate more nature-based solutions instead of other approaches that destroy shorelines.
Michigan LCV Government Affairs Staffing Changes!
Saying “Goodbye For Now” to Hallie Fox – MLCV’s GA Coordinator
After two years, Michigan LCV is finally having to say “goodbye for now” to our State Government Affairs Coordinator, Hallie Fox. Hallie will be moving out of the state later this month to pursue her JD at Harvard Law School.
In addition to serving as a member of Michigan LCV’s lobbying team, Hallie has led several projects since she started in May of 2020, including reinvigorating our Judicial Accountability Tool, the Green Gavels Project; providing critical, real-time information about the political implications of the redistricting process to our team; and serving as a primary author of the Capital Catch-Up!
While Hallie’s official last day with Michigan LCV will be today (August 1, 2022), she looks forward to continuing to stay connected with the team. Hallie would like to thank everyone on the Michigan LCV staff and board for giving her the opportunity to work for such an amazing organization; and more specifically, she’d like to thank Nick Occhipinti, MLCV’s Government Affairs Director, for being the best mentor a girl could ask for.
Introducing Logan Vorce – New GA Fellow
We are excited to announce the newest member of the MLCV team, Government Affairs fellow, Logan Vorce. Logan is a Central Michigan University alum, where she majored in Nonprofit Administration and minored in Sustainability and Environmental Policy. Logan also has a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) certification. She is a self-proclaimed “Lansing Local” as she was born, raised, and currently resides in Lansing. Logan’s favorite activities in Lansing are walks at Crego Park, grabbing dinner at Persis’ Indian Restaurant, and playing tennis at any court available.
Help Us Reach a Conservation Majority in Michigan!
Michigan LCV needs you to help us achieve a conservation majority in the Michigan Legislature. Join us at one of our next canvasses!
Canvass for Rosemary Bayer
Aug 9 from 5:30-8 pm
Canvass for Darrin Camilleri and Reggie Miller
Aug 19 from 3-5 pm
Stay tuned for future volunteer opportunities in your area!