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

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

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

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

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’

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

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

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

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

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.

Michigan environment roundup: Great Lakes water levels could break records

Michigan environment roundup: Great Lakes water levels could break records

May 20, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

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

Watch a video of anchor damage to Line 5 in Straits of Mackinac

Watch a video of anchor damage to Line 5 in Straits of Mackinac

May 15, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

As Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer nears decision on a tunnel to protect the pipeline, a video is released of mishap that environmentalists claim shows “Great Lakes dodged a bullet.”

 

Nestlé to allow feds to monitor water withdrawals in central Michigan

Nestlé to allow feds to monitor water withdrawals in central Michigan

May 8, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Nestlé said the U.S. Geological Survey will independently monitor conditions near an Osceola County well where Michigan regulators allow pumping of up to 400 gallons a minute for an Ice Mountain bottling plant.

All systems go once again for Michigan’s $2.5M rocket plan

All systems go once again for Michigan’s $2.5M rocket plan

April 24, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A controversial grant to fund Michigan’s foray into the space race is revived after being grounded by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Electric car fees in Michigan would soar under Whitmer’s roads plan

Electric car fees in Michigan would soar under Whitmer’s roads plan

April 23, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposal to boost gas taxes by 45 cents would also make Michigan’s electric vehicle fees the highest in the nation. Critics say that comes atop other state policies that have discouraged sales of cleaner cars.

DTE chief: We’re cutting carbon because it’s ‘defining issue of our era’

DTE chief: We’re cutting carbon because it’s ‘defining issue of our era’

April 23, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The energy company is accelerating its goal of cutting emissions by 80 percent. CEO Gerry Anderson says the company is ramping up solar and wind energy.

Cutting energy costs can be expensive. Michigan’s green bank can help.

Cutting energy costs can be expensive. Michigan’s green bank can help.

April 23, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A nonprofit known as Michigan Saves helps with financing and other efforts to cut sometimes exorbitant costs of becoming energy efficient.

Michigan environment roundup: Minnesota has Isle Royale envy

Michigan environment roundup: Minnesota has Isle Royale envy

April 23, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

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

Fixing typo, Michigan loosens U.P. brook trout limits — for now

Fixing typo, Michigan loosens U.P. brook trout limits — for now

April 19, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan anglers can bag up to 10 brook trout on 33 U.P. streams this season,  ranging from a stretch of the Iron River to the north branch of the Pine River. But the relaxed limit could be temporary.

Nestlé extends Flint bottled water donations through August

Nestlé extends Flint bottled water donations through August

April 10, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Since Michigan halted its free bottled water program, Nestlé has provided 100,000 bottles water per week to help centers that continue to face high demands from residents who refuse to drink from their taps.

Michigan’s UP is full of closed mines. Technology may give them new life

Michigan’s UP is full of closed mines. Technology may give them new life

April 3, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Upper Peninsula communities struggled when mines shuttered. Now, researchers are studying whether closed mines could be used to store energy, lowering cripplingly high energy costs.

Michigan environment roundup: DTE closing coal plants early

Michigan environment roundup: DTE closing coal plants early

April 3, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

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

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