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EPA Announces $1 Billion For School Clean Energy School Buses

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week $1 billion in federal funding for zero or low-emission school buses for nearly 400 school districts across the country approved for Clean School Bus Rebates, helping electrify more than 95% of all school buses in the U.S. 

The Midwest will be an epicenter of school bus electrification via this funding, with nearly 20% of funds coming to the region. Michigan is set to receive $54 million for electric buses after being the state that both requested and was awarded the highest percentage of federal dollars. With this influx of money, 25 Michigan school districts will be able to purchase 138 new electric buses, adding to the 17 currently in use across 7 districts in the state. 

The new buses will provide a critical boost for school-related transportation, and 99% of the funding will go to districts in low-income, rural and Indigenous communities, both in Michigan and across the country. The funding will set a new standard in the electrification revolution – 90% of school buses in the U.S. currently run on diesel – and help protect the health of school kids by reducing exposure to exhaust and gasses known to cause cancer, asthma and other health conditions that disproportionately impact low-income and minority communities. 

Nature Conservancy’s Purchase Of 31,000 Acres Will Protect Keweenaw Peninsula Public Lands

Credit: The Nature Conservancy.

Last week the Nature Conservancy announced a deal with Rohatyn Group (TRG Management LP) for the acquisition of 31,000 acres of land in the Keweenaw Peninsula in the Upper Peninsula. The deal will ensure an area known as the Keweenaw Heartlands remains designated as public lands after surrounding communities expressed concern about public access. 

The preserved land features an assortment of trail systems heavily accessed by locals and tourists.

Inland lakes and streams permeate the protected landscape.

 

Known for its wild forests and hiking trails enjoyed by countless Michiganders, the Keweenaw Peninsula contains one of Michigan’s last unfragmented wilderness areas. Critical to the health of the Great Lakes and surrounding watersheds, the lands are also significant to geologic and indigenous history in Michigan. 

The mighty white pine used to dominate this timberland; preserving the remaining forest is critical in protecting bio-diversity and ensuring a climate resilient Michigan.

The deal, which totals more than $27.2 million, has been years in the making for the Nature Conservancy and other land conservation groups. In addition to the land, the purchase includes all mineral rights, trails and historic structures. 

Michigan LCV In Action: Celebrating the Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary

Last week, Michigan LCV federal government affairs director Bentley Johnson spoke at a press conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. The press conference, held in Ann Arbor’s Gallup Park on the banks of the Huron River, was headlined by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and State Representative Yousef Rabhi, as well as Robb Kerr of the Wolfpack Clean Water Group, Rebecca Esselman of the Huron River Watershed Council and Mike Shriberg of the National Wildlife Federation. 

From left to right: Representative Rabhi, Robb Kerr, Congresswoman Dingell, Bentley Johnson, Rebecca Esselman and Mike Shriberg.

While Rabhi, Dingell and others’ remarks focused on the anniversary of the Clean Water Act and celebrated the positive impact the legislation has had on the quality and health of our waters since 1972, Bentley spoke about the threats facing the Act and the EPA’s ability to hold polluters accountable. Specifically, he highlighted the threat and potential impact of the Supreme Court case Sackett v. EPA, in which a ruling is expected before the end of the year. 

Bentley speaking at the press conference on the banks of the Huron River in Ann Arbor.

If you missed last week’s edition, check out our latest blog, which focuses on the Clean Water Act anniversary and the threats to our water posed by Sackett v. EPA

Quick Hits!

2021 Michigan Air Quality Report Released

The annual report on air quality across Michigan was released last week, providing data on how regions of the state stack up in terms of six criteria of air pollutants: carbon dioxide, lead, nitrogen oxide, ozone, particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), and sulfur dioxide. Read the full 2021 Michigan Air Quality Annual Report here.

Whitmer Address Clean Energy in Debate

During last week’s gubernatorial debate, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was firm about her commitment to clean energy expansion in Michigan. In response to multiple jabs from Tudor Dixon regarding potentially shutting down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, Whitmer said she wants to “make sure we are expanding energy alternatives in clean energy” while being “good stewards of our water,” adding that Michigan needs to “build out clean energy alternatives and be a driving force in the transition” for the automotive industry. 

MPSC’ Orders Spell IRP Changes

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) last week approved two orders that will alter how Michigan utilities file Integrated Resources Plans (IRPs). The changes include updated IRP parameters that require utilities to demonstrate modeling scenarios and sensitivities, as well as updated filing requirements for IRPs, certificate of public convenience and necessity application instructions. 

Update From Washington

BLOG – 2022 Election Preview: Michigan House Races

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 John Fitzgerald for State Representative

Nov 4 from 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm

Grand Rapids, MI

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Canvass for Veronica Klinefelt for State Senate

Nov 4 from 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm

Eastpointe, MI

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Canvass for Rachel Hood for State Senate

Nov 5 from 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm

Grand Rapids, MI

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Canvass for Betsy Coffia for State Representative

Nov 5 from 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm

Traverse City, MI

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Canvass for Matt Koleszar for State Representative

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Livonia, MI

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Canvass for Rosemary Bayer for State Senate

Nov 6 from 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm

Northville, MI

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Canvass for Carol Glanville for State Representative

Nov 6 from 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm

Grand Rapids, MI

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Canvass for David LaGrand for State Senate

Nov 7 from 11 am, 2 pm, 4:30 pm

Grand Rapids, MI

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Canvass for Betsy Coffia for State Representative

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Traverse City, MI

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Canvass for Darrin Camilleri for State Senate

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Wyandotte, MI

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Election Day Canvass for Betsy Coffia for State Representative

Nov 8 from 10 am, 1 pm

Traverse City, MI

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Election Day Canvass for Jennifer Conlin for State Representative

Nov 8 from 10 am, 1 pm

Ann Arbor, MI

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Election Day Canvass for John Fitzgerald for State Representative

Nov 4 from 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm

Grand Rapids, MI

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