Jim Malewitz

Jim Malewitz reports on the environment for Bridge. Based in Lansing, but with plans to scour both peninsulas, he is looking for stories about how public policy, climate change and other phenomena affect the state’s trove of natural resources – all while leaders tout the “Pure Michigan” brand. Jim joined Bridge in November 2017, returning to his home state after a lengthy absence. He spent four years at the Texas Tribune, where he was an investigative reporter and extensively covered energy and environmental issues. He reported on an oil boom and bust, deadly oil refineries, cross-state border squabbles, invasive zebra mussels and gaping sinkholes. His work there also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, POLITICO Magazine and news outlets across the country. Before moving to Texas, Jim covered energy and the environment for Stateline, a nonprofit news service in Washington, D.C. He majored in political science at Grinnell College in Iowa and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. There, he helped launch the nonprofit Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, where he currently serves on the board of directors. You can reach Jim at jmalewitz@bridgemi.com or call him at 517-657-3577.

Articles

Climate change could bring woe to Michigan’s lakes, farms, forests

July 16, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

More than heat, unchecked climate change could worsen crop yields, infrastructure and air pollution. Here’s what researchers say could happen in Michigan in coming decades.

Michigan environment roundup: Expect severe algae blooms on Lake Erie

July 16, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Enbridge begins geological work for Line 5 tunnel, despite Nessel lawsuit

July 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The energy giant will begin geological sampling this week in the Straits of Mackinac, two weeks after Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit to shut down the dual Line 5 pipelines while separately blocking a $500 million tunnel plan to protect them.

Lyme disease is spreading across Michigan. But why?

July 1, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Officials are increasingly finding disease-carrying ticks in new places across the state. Experts aren’t exactly sure why, but they have some ideas.

Michigan AG Dana Nessel files lawsuit to shut down Line 5 in Mackinac Straits

June 27, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is seeking court order to decommission Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac, citing a “continual threat of grave harm” to the Great Lakes. Separately, she’s seeking to dismiss an Enbridge lawsuit to uphold an agreement to bury the pipelines in a bedrock tunnel.

Michigan congresswoman pushes national plan to fix recycling woes

June 27, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, a Michigan Democrat, co-sponsored a budget amendment that would direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to draw up a plan to boost recycling nationwide. The legislation has cleared the House.

Commercial fishing is sinking fast in Michigan. Time for more regulations?

June 24, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Sportfishing is booming in Michigan, while fewer than two dozen commercial businesses tie their livelihoods to the Great Lakes. The industry has a rich heritage, but some say it’s time to ‘pull the plug on the horse and carriage industry.’

Dana Nessel's office drops charges in Flint water contamination case

June 13, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Charges against the state’s former top doctor and former health director have been dropped but could be refiled, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says.

 

Surging Great Lakes threaten Michigan’s beloved Fishtown

June 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Heavy rains are taking a toll on the collection of fishing shanties in the Leelanau Peninsula, eroding some buildings and flooding others. That’s accelerating a fundraising effort to preserve the buildings.

Michigan environment roundup: Asian carp move closer to the Great Lakes

June 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Report: Tug dragged 6-ton anchor for days after denting Line 5 pipeline

June 5, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says new federal report detailing anchor strike shows ‘all of the enforcement mechanisms in the world won’t prevent a tragedy.’

Surging Great Lakes water levels shrink beaches, flood docks in Michigan

June 5, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A few years after record lows, Lakes Erie, St. Clair and Superior broke records for average water heights in May

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer opens up more Michigan farmland to solar power

June 3, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The Democratic governor reverses a rule by her Republican predecessor and allows solar energy development on as much as 3.4 million acres of farmland.

Michigan lobbyist for polluter wrote law easing toxic cleanups, emails show

May 29, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Craig Mauger

Emails uncovered by FOIA show a Lansing lobbyist for Wolverine Worldwide wrote a law to weaken pollution cleanup standards, months after negotiating a lawsuit settlement with a company accused of contaminating West Michigan.

GOP donor’s plans to dredge Grand River meet rough waters in West Michigan

May 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The husband of former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land wants the state to dredge the river near Grand Rapids to allow power boats to reach Lake Michigan. Environmentalists are crying foul.

Booster downplays dredging conflicts: ‘People are allowed to make money’

May 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A powerhouse Republican donor is championing a dredging project that could increase the value of his own land. A former Senate majority leader who steered grants for the project says that’s no big deal.

New Michigan Environmental Council chief has deep roots in civil rights

May 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Conan Smith, whose grandfather authored the civil rights clause to the Michigan Constitution, wants to break down racial and cultural barriers within the environmental movement.

U.S. Supreme Court halts order requiring Michigan to redraw political lines

May 24, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Lindsay VanHulle

The high court’s order relieves Michigan Republicans from a summer deadline to reshape state maps, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule in June on what role judges should play in redistricting conflicts.

Michigan shrinks credits for rooftop solar, clouding industry’s future

May 20, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

In a battle over fairness and who controls Michigan’s renewable energy future, utilities successfully pushed state lawmakers and regulators to lower compensation for rooftop solar owners who add electricity grid.

Consumers Energy chief sees solar future in Michigan

May 20, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Amid shifting economics and concerns about climate change, Michigan’s biggest energy utility vows to slash carbon dioxide emissions 90 percent by 2040 — without building any new natural gas plants.

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