Urge Congress to step up and protect the Clean Water Act

This month is the 50 year anniversary of the Clean water Act, our nation’s most critical tool for safeguarding our streams, wetlands, and other waterways. While we should be celebrating the progress that’s been made to hold polluters accountable and clean up our waterways, the fossil fuel industry is actively working to gut the Clean Water Act. 

The Supreme Court has a case on the docket, Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, in which the court will decide what waters can and cannot be protected under the Clean Water Act. 

The worst polluters — from oil and gas companies to mining and developers — are working with their pro-polluter allies in Congress to use this case to hamstring the EPA’s ability to protect the health of our communities from harmful pollution. Congress passed the Clean Water Act 50 years ago to protect people, not polluters. Now we need them to step up and solidify those protections. 

Send a message to your representative in Congress urging them to protect the Clean Water Act.

Tell Sen. Stabenow and Sen. Peters to protect wilderness areas in the Upper Peninsula

Michigan is home to some of the most pristine, stunning wilderness areas in the world, especially in the Upper Peninsula! These wilderness areas are essential to the identity of Michigan, and Michiganders who visit them, but many are unprotected and vulnerable to development, pollution, and degradation. 

Over the past three years, Congress has designated new national wilderness areas in several states across the country. By this designation, these areas are protected from threats of development, deforestation and more. 

With some of the Upper Peninsula’s most beloved wilderness areas unprotected, now is the time for Michigan to take action to secure its own national wilderness areas – including the Ehlco area, the Trap Hills, Norwich Plains, and the Sturgeon River Gorge – to ensure they are kept pristine and protected for generations to come. 

Luckily, Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow  and Gary Peters have the ability to introduce legislation to designate new national wilderness areas in the Upper Peninsula! By introducing legislation designating new national wilderness areas, Senator Stabenow can secure a big win for Michigan’s environment, for local communities, and for the creation of new jobs across the Upper Peninsula. 

We need your help to ask Sen. Stabenow and Sen. Peters to introduce legislation designating these four areas in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as federal Wilderness areas.

Send a message to Sen. Stabenow & Sen. Peters: Please introduce legislation to protect wilderness areas in the Upper Peninsula.

Urge your lawmaker to ban PFAS in food packaging

Millions of pieces of food packaging containing toxic PFAS chemicals are used and discarded each day. Once discarded, these toxic “forever chemicals” can seep into our drinking water, causing serious health problems including cancer, liver damage and infertility. But thanks to new legislation, we have a chance to change that. 

The Keep Food Containers Safe From PFAS Act (H.R. 6026) being considered by Congress would ban PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) from all food contact materials, helping protect our communities from these toxic chemicals while reducing the amount of PFAS pollution in our land and water. Seven states have already passed legislation banning PFAS in food packaging. It’s time to do the same in Washington. 

Now that the legislation has been introduced, we need your help to urge your representative in Congress to pass the Keep Food Containers Safe From PFAS Act and protect our drinking water and the health of our communities. 

PFAS in food containers is more than just a consumer issue – it’s also a justice issue. No one should have to worry if their takeout container is contaminated with chemicals or if their water is safe to drink. 

Send a message to your representative urging them to ban PFAS chemicals from food packaging and protect the health of our communities. 

Tell DTE to pursue meaningful climate action in their IRP

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 legally required descriptions of which energy resources Michigan utilities plan to use over the next five-plus years. IRPs also 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 agree 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 behind Consumers Energy and other utilities in transitioning to cleaner, more efficient and affordable sources of energy. The company is currently listed in the top 25 most carbon-emitting utilities in the country.  DTE has promised to retire all of its coal plants (Consumers has agreed to retire theirs by 2025), but now we need them to turn those words into action.

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. 

With DTE’s IRP, we have a chance to influence how the utility sources their power and make it clear that Michiganders want aggressive plans for clean energy now.

Send a message to DTE today urging them to retire their coal plants, accelerate the implementation of clean energy solutions, and help build a healthy climate for future generations in Michigan.

Tell the Michigan Public Service Commission to reject DTE’s solar killing proposal

Residential DTE Energy customers pay some of the highest costs for energy in the midwest and receive the worst service when it comes to keeping the lights on. 

new ProPublica report found that DTE Energy shut off power for 208,000 homes in Michigan between April 2020 and December 2021 despite raising rates six times since 2011 with little improvements to service. Although DTE received substantial federal COVID relief funding to prevent shutoffs, Michigan’s largest energy utility company left Michiganders in the dark during a global pandemic while collecting record profits. This is unacceptable. 

Now, DTE Energy is seeking another $388 million rate increase, as well as new mandatory fees for customers that want to install rooftop solar on their homes as part of the “distributed generation” residential solar program. Their proposal would increase the financial burden for DTE customers, half a million of which are living below the poverty line. Additionally, the proposed fees would make investing in rooftop solar impossible for many at a time when we need to make renewable energy more accessible to combat climate change and lower our energy costs. 

The Michigan Public Service Commission will determine if DTE’s proposal goes through. We need them to stand up for ratepayers and reject DTE’s proposed rate increase and unfair fees for rooftop solar users. 

Send a message urging the Michigan Public Service Commission to reject DTE’s proposed rate increase and fees and ensure renewable energy is accessible for all Michiganders. 

Urge your lawmaker to invest in our future with this year’s budget surplus

Due to multiple federal COVID relief packages (including the American Rescue Plan, the CARES Act, and the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act), Michigan has had billions of dollars in state budget surplus for the past year. Even with the FY 2023 budget completed, there is still roughly $7 billion ($3.8 billion general fund) on the table that lawmakers have yet to negotiate. 

We need our lawmakers to prioritize spending that will set Michigan up for success during the next decade — despite the political pressures to deliver on tax cuts during an election year.

Tell your lawmaker to take advantage of this year’s budget surplus with investments in our land, air, and water, including:  

  • $50M for Electric Vehicle Rebates to provide a $2,000 rebate for purchasing a new electric vehicle (EV) and a $500 rebate for at-home charging equipment for a new or used EV. These state rebates will complement existing federal and private EV incentives to help usher in the automotive future and make EVs more accessible to all Michiganders.
  • $508M for the State Parks Endowment Fund to provide a stable funding source for Michigan’s parks and natural lands. Additionally, fully capitalizing on the State Parks Endowment Fund will unlock oil and gas earnings to return to the Natural Resources Trust Fund (the crown jewel of Michigan conservation policies), in line with what voters passed in Proposal 1 of 2020.
  • $1B for MI Healthy Homes to create a single program tasked with funding whole home deep-energy retrofits in low and middle-income neighborhoods. Eligible upgrades could include: building insulation, windows, lighting, furnace replacement, mold and asbestos abatement, etc. Studies have shown that every dollar invested in energy efficiency measures like these results in over $3 benefits.

Investing in these long-term priorities will help improve the quality of life for all Michiganders while creating good-paying jobs in the clean energy industry and the tourism and recreation sectors. 

Send your lawmaker a message today urging them to invest in our future. 

No more rate hikes until there is an investigation into poor service by DTE and Consumers Energy

The poor performance from our utility companies in Michigan is unacceptable. During the hottest time of the summer, more than a million Michiganders have gone without power due to frequent outages from storms. Despite the poor performance from our utility companies, DTE and Consumers continue to raise rates by hundreds of millions of dollars nearly each year, with little to no improvement in service. 

The utilities knew this was coming. For years advocates, scientists, and government officials have been imploring them to prepare the grid for climate change, and they failed to act.   

Enough is enough. We need answers.

Sign the below petition to call for a moratorium on rate increases until we get to the bottom of why our utility companies’ performance is so bad yet our energy costs continue to rise. 

Tell Congress to pass climate legislation NOW

To tackle the climate crisis, we need action at all levels of government. It’s time for Congress to pass legislation that will allow the U.S. to transition to clean, affordable energy and upgrade our infrastructure to withstand the impacts of climate change.

Climate legislation has passed the House, and now we need the Senate to finish the job. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass a transformational plan that will create millions of good quality, high-paying union jobs that modernize our energy, transportation, and water infrastructure and invest in people and communities who too often have been left behind. 

Some of the highlights of this legislation include:

  • Replacing every lead pipe and service line in America to ensure clean water for all

  • Investing in renewable energy infrastructure

  • Protecting American workers by investing in American manufacturing and protecting workers rights

  • Investing in the future of clean energy transportation by building EV charging stations, electrifying our nation’s school buses and post office fleets, and creating rebates and tax incentives for buying EVs

  • Modernizing our country’s electrical grid

  • Establishing the Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard that will lead utilities to increase their share of renewable energy, and developing tax credits to assist in  Biden’s goal of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035

  • And more!

We need to make sure this passes and our Michigan Delegation is essential to making that happen. Tell your Senator to take climate action NOW.

Urge your lawmaker to vote “NO” on Senate Bill 429-431

Senate Bills 429-431 would remove local governments’ oversight over sand and gravel mining operations and would instead give the power to regulate to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. In their current form, the bills do not do enough to protect our drinking water and natural spaces.

The American Geological Institute has said that aggregate mining operations cause irreparable damage to our natural environment. Mining strips the land of trees and other greenery, devastates wildlife habitat, and degrades the quality of local soils. 

At a time when America is losing a football field of natural space every thirty seconds, we need to actively protect and conserve our greenspace – not strip and mine it. Michigan needs smart mining policies that prioritize aggregate recycling wherever possible to reduce the need for new mines. And, when new mines are necessary, our aggregate mining policies must include strong environmental protections and a land reclamation process that centers ecological health. 

Send a message to your lawmaker today urging them to vote “NO” on this incomplete legislation. By filling out the form below, your message will be sent to your lawmaker. 

Tell your lawmaker: Provide relief to customers during power outages

In recent years, it has become abundantly clear that Michigan’s utility companies have one of the worst track records when it comes to providing reliable, affordable service. 

Michiganders experience the most and longest outages and pay the highest rates in the Midwest, and Michigan utilities have the third-worst restoration time per outage in the nation – even on days without major storm events. 

Last summer’s widespread power outages that left over a million Michiganders in the dark amidst a global pandemic are the latest example of our utility companies’ history of poor performance. In response to public outcry about last summer’s outages, DTE issued a credit of only $25 to residential customers. DTE and Consumers Energy continue to raise rates and rake in massive profits for shareholders while providing little relief to Michiganders. 

Thankfully, Rep. Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) and Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) have introduced legislation that would provide relief to customers who lose power during outages and help hold utility companies accountable for their poor performance. 

Here’s a look at what these bills will do:

  • Require utilities to issue automatic bill credits to residential and non-residential customers who experience outages, as well as renters for costs associated with outages like spoiled food, and local governments for costs of responding to outages. 
  • Require that the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) review of an electric utility’s investment and maintenance distribution plans be considered a contested case under the Administrative Procedures Act, helping increase public accountability.
  • Require compensation for excessive outages to come out of utility profits instead of rate increases for service, while also requiring that utility companies justify rates to the MPSC, protecting consumers and making credits ineligible for cost recovery in the rate-setting process. 
  • Require utility companies to provide $100 credits for four interruptions to service of more than an hour within a four month period, improving the process for multiple service outage credits. This requirement would result in $200 credits for six outages in six months, and $300 credits for eigh interruptions within 12 months. 
  • Require utilities to disclose on bills the number of interruptions and the length of time the interruption lasted.

Now that these bills have been introduced, we need your help to urge your lawmaker to support this important legislation.

With this legislation, we have a chance to fix a system that does not work for Michiganders by holding our big utility companies accountable for their poor performance. 

Send a message to your lawmaker urging them to support House Bills 6043-6047.

Remove unfair restrictions for rooftop solar in Michigan

Rooftop solar in Michigan has been a huge success. As the technology has become more affordable, many Michiganders are installing solar panels on their rooftops to reduce their energy bills and do their part to reduce pollution in our air and combat climate change.

Major utility companies set in place an arbitrary 1% cap on the amount of customers that can hook up their rooftop solar installations to the energy grid to sell excess power. That cap has been reached by some of Michigan’s largest utility companies, which means additional customers who want to generate their own clean energy through rooftop solar will be unable to do so.

House Bill 4236 would remove this artificial cap and open the door for more Michiganders to lower their energy costs and reduce pollution in our air by generating their own clean energy. If lawmakers do not pass legislation to remove the cap, growth in rooftop solar will come to a halt in Michigan, closing the door on a huge opportunity to reduce pollution and create good clean energy jobs.

We need your help to send a message to your lawmaker urging them to pass House Bill 4236 to remove the cap on the amount of customers who can generate their own clean energy.

Thank Gov. Whitmer and your lawmakers for Funding MI Water

After months of advocacy and deliberation in Lansing, Senate Bill 565 passed both the House and Senate with broad bipartisan support and has been signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The major supplemental budget bill has been expanded from the original $3.3 billion to $4.7 billion of investments to clean up and protect our water, overhaul outdated water infrastructure, fund state and local parks, repair roads and bridges, remove lead pipes, expand broadband internet and more.

The expanded investments will be made using $3.1 billion in federal COVID relief, $1 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and $571 million from the state’s General Fund.

These historic, transformational investments will strengthen our economy, pave the way for healthy, vibrant communities, and ensure all Michiganders have access to clean, safe drinking water.

Send a message to Gov. Whitmer and your lawmakers thanking them for taking action to protect our water, our health, and our future. 

Support Legislation for Independent Community Solar

Legislation before the House Energy Committee would help promote locally owned community solar projects across Michigan. House Bills 4715 and 4716 would remove unnecessary restrictions on local solar projects, making it easier for communities to generate their own clean, affordable solar energy. 

A recent report by Michigan State University found that community solar would create 18,500 jobs and contribute $1.4 billion to the economy over the next 30 years, all while reducing pollution in our air and water. 

Michigan has the highest energy costs in the Midwest and some of the worst service. Community solar can help residents lower their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. 

Send your lawmaker a message urging them to support House Bills 4715 and 4716 to remove barriers to community solar developments.

By filling out your information below, a message will be sent to your state representative.

Tell your lawmaker: Oppose legislation that strips money from contaminated site cleanup

The Bottle Deposit Law is in need of update and expansion, but any changes need to maintain or increase funding for contaminated site cleanup. Currently, about 75 percent of the unclaimed bottle deposits go towards contaminated site cleanup, with the remainder going to the beverage industry. 

Recently introduced legislation being pushed by special interest lobbyists takes millions of dollars designated to fund the clean-up of contaminated sites and puts it in the pockets of the beverage industry. With over 24,000 identified contaminated sites across the state, more resources are critical to support continued cleanup projects, not less.  

We need your help to prevent wealthy beverage industry owners from pocketing money that should be going toward cleaning up contaminated sites.

Send a message to your lawmaker urging them to protect our health by opposing HB 4443-4444.

Send a message to President Biden urging him to support Gov. Whitmer’s Line 5 shutdown order

Enbridge Energy is officially operating the Line 5 Pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac illegally. 

In defiance of Gov. Whitmer’s order revoking Enbridge Energy’s Easement Agreement with the state of Michigan to shut down Line 5 due to the imminent threat to our Great Lakes, Enbridge Energy has continued to keep pumping oil under the Straits of Mackinac. 

We know Line 5 was only intended to operate safely for 50 years. 

We know an oil spill would impact more than 700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline.

And we know Line 5 is a ticking time bomb in our Great Lakes that must be shut down. 

Enbridge Energy is suing the state, challenging the order and is trying to move this case to the Supreme Court to delay the shutdown. We need your help by sending a message to President Biden urging him to support Gov. Whitmer’s shutdown order and reinforce Michigan’s authority to stop this dangerous pipeline. 

Tell your lawmaker: protect drop box voting in Michigan

Senate Bill 286 would require the closure of drop boxes by 5 p.m. on Election Day, reducing voter access and putting even more of a burden on local clerks to accept ballots in their offices without the necessary funding or resources that they need. 

Ballot drop boxes are commonly and effectively used across the country, and provide large numbers of Michigan voters with a safe, secure way to vote. Putting restrictions on the use of drop boxes will burden Michigan voters that have used drop boxes for years, especially in rural communities that don’t have updated infrastructure and face geographical barriers to voting. 

By contacting your senator and urging them to oppose Senate Bill 286, you can help make it clear that our lawmakers should be working to protect our freedom to vote, not putting up barriers. Take action: contact your senator and tell them to oppose SB 286 today. 

Urge Your Lawmaker to Hold Polluters Accountable

Members of the Michigan House of Representatives recently introduced HB 4314, a bill that would hold corporate polluters responsible for contamination they cause so they foot the bill for cleanup, not taxpayers.

The bill would remove the statute of limitations for the state to file a civil claim in these cases, remove corporate officers who sit on panels who decide environmental regulations and permits, and require higher fines and bond levels to ensure corporations can pay for the cleanup when pollution occurs.

With threats to our water, like PFAS contamination, we need stronger accountability over parties responsible for contaminating our water.

Send a message to your lawmaker today, urging them to support legislation that would hold corporate polluters accountable for cleaning up and paying for their own messes. 

Tell your lawmaker: amend Senate Bill 300 to extend early voting

Lawmakers in the State Senate have put forward Senate Bill 300 that would allow for one day of early voting, which would fall on the Saturday prior to Election Day. 

Early voting is a great policy and one that Michiganders should be able to enjoy. However, providing only one day for early voting is not adequate. No state provides only one day of early voting, with the national average being 19 days. 

While many Michiganders already take advantage of in-person absentee voting at clerks offices and satellites, we are currently not able to take advantage of early, in-person voting, the process by which our votes are tabulated on the spot. Creating just one day during which ballots can be tabulated and then returning to an absentee procedure would be confusing for voters and difficult for clerks to execute logistically. 

By all measures, an effective early voting period should last at least several weeks. 

Send a message to your state Senator urging them to expand early voting in Senate Bill 300. 

By contacting your senator and urging them to amend Senate Bill 300 to increase the early voting period, you can help make it clear that our lawmakers should be working to protect our right to free and fair elections. 

Tell your lawmaker: Support legislation to protect Michigan’s air and drinking water

Senate Bill 147 would repeal Public Act 602 of 2018, dubbed “No Stricter Than Federal,” which prohibits the state from setting protections for our air and drinking water that are more stringent than federal standards.

Given Michigan’s devastating history of water pollution and the presence of tens of thousands of contaminated sites across our state, there is an urgent need for stricter, proactive measures to protect the health of our communities. Restoring the state’s ability to set the highest and most protective standards that work for Michigan to protect our water systems and public health.

Send a message to your lawmaker today, urging them to support SB 147 to protect public health, and ensure all Michiganders have clean air and drinking water.

Wanting to do more to fight for the people and places you love?

We have regional coordinators in four regions of the state: southeast, southwest, west, and northern Michigan. Our awesome team loves getting to know activists like you and are here to help you plug into the fight for our communities and our natural resources!

Even if you’re not in one of our core regions, reach out and we’ll be happy to help you get involved locally! While we don’t have coordinators in every corner of the state yet, we have a statewide membership and volunteer teams are already active in communities around Michigan!

Join an action team near you!

Advocacy & Communication

  • Advocate publicly for our priorities
  • Take legislative actions
  • Lobby lawmakers
  • Attend legislative in-district events

Outreach & Organizing

  • Tell neighbors and friends about issues
  • Circulate petitions on key issues
  • Attend local events to share our work
  • Organize member events & meetings

Rapid Response

  • Speak with legislators on pressing issues
  • Amplify advocacy on social media
  • Reach out to other supporters
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