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

Judge upholds Line 5 tunnel authority as Dana Nessel’s review continues

March 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The Michigan Court of Claims ruling won’t end of legal battles surrounding the legality of the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority, created to oversee a tunnel surrounding Enbridge Energy’s Line 5. 

Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to fix Michigan roads: Nearly triple gas tax

March 4, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Mike Wilkinson

The Democratic governor wants to add 45 cents atop Michigan’s 26.3 per gallon tax on gas. She’ll propose doing so when she unveils her first state budget proposal Tuesday. Republicans already are criticizing plan.

Is this the year Michigan joins the rest of America on public records?

March 4, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Riley Beggin

Michigan is one of only two states that exempt the Legislature and the Governor’s office from public records requests. Attempts to change the state’s FOIA act have failed year after year.

Less skiing, thinner ice, canceled fests. Michigan adapts to climate change

February 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The last few weeks notwithstanding, winters are warming, changing Pure Michigan and forcing those who rely on snow and cold to get creative.

Warming temps mean many Michigan lakes won’t freeze in coming years

February 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Mike Wilkinson

Climate change means that inland lakes in much of the Lower Peninsula may not regularly freeze during winter, endangering the ecosystem and a way of life.

Michigan environment roundup: PFAS found in 119 Michigan water systems

February 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

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

Dana Nessel shakes up Flint prosecutions; civil settlement talks underway

February 21, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Riley Beggin

Saying “the people of Flint deserve nothing short of justice,” Michigan’s attorney general is moving quickly to resolve dozens of civil lawsuits filed in the wake of the Flint lead poisoning crisis.

Gretchen Whitmer remakes Michigan DEQ again, but leaves oversight panels intact

February 20, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Fresh off an override by Republicans, the Democratic governor issued an executive order Wednesday to reshuffle the DEQ. Oversight panels will remain, pending a legal review.

Consumers Energy chief: We’re making changes after natural gas crisis

February 20, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Consumers Energy will be less reliant on a single facility that can pump up to 64 percent of its gas, its CEO tells lawmakers Wednesday. A fire at the facility last month sparked a crisis that almost led to shutoffs.

Here's how your ideas could help save Lake Superior's Buffalo Reef

February 20, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan officials are mulling how to thwart millions of tons of mining waste threatening to smother Buffalo Reef, a vital spawning ground for lake trout and whitefish. Here’s your chance to offer feedback. 

Michigan environment roundup: 13 water systems fail federal lead test.

February 20, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

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

After Republican lawmakers killed Gretchen Whitmer’s environmental shakeup, what’s next?

February 15, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The ball’s now in Whitmer’s court amid a power struggle over environmental oversight.

Michigan Republicans kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s environmental overhaul plan

February 14, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The Republican-controlled Legislature killed Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to reorganize Michigan’s environmental agency. It’s the first time since 1977 that lawmakers reversed a governor's executive order.

Few love Michigan’s DEQ. But are oversight panels worth Whitmer-GOP showdown?

February 13, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is locked in a showdown with Republicans over her plan to kill oversight panels. Both sides agree citizens should have a say in regulations, but have disagreed for years about how to do so.

Michigan environment roundup: Ice fishing under threat in Michigan

February 13, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

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

Michigan Senate debates reversing Gov. Whitmer’s environmental overhaul

February 7, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The conversation follows a House vote to block Whitmer’s executive order to transform the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. It’s the latest in a power struggle that may derail bipartisanship.

Michigan Republicans move to block Gov. Whitmer’s environmental overhaul

February 6, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

One month after taking office and pledging to work with Republicans, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plans to reorganize the state’s environment agency face a challenge from Republican lawmakers. They’re upset she plans to abolish oversight groups that give businesses a say in regulations.

Gretchen Whitmer reshapes Michigan environmental watchdog agency

February 4, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The new Democratic governor is revamping DEQ to more closely focus on clean water, climate change and protecting poor communities from environmental harm. Republicans vow to hold hearings.

Michigan’s energy vulnerability exposed by natural gas scare, bitter cold

February 1, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Two days of extreme cold and a Consumers Energy mishap forced Michigan into crisis that nearly disrupted the flow of energy to millions of customers. What happens next time? Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to know.

In Flint, trust is lost. And bottled water supplies are running low.

January 30, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A year after Michigan declared Flint’s drinking water “restored” and began encouraging residents to return to their faucets, the city’s demand for bottled water remains sky-high, leading to hours-long waits for dwindling supplies.

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