Michigan Environment Watch

Michigan Environment Watch examines how public policy, industry, and other factors interact with the state’s trove of natural resources.

Articles

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.

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.

As the earth warms, Midwest searches to cut greenhouse gas

May 20, 2019 | Jack Cushman

From farmers cutting manure to changes in the transportation industry, folks are looking for changes large and small as the climate changes.

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

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

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.

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’

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.

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 mulls lifting barrier to solar energy on farmland

April 23, 2019 | Andy Balaskovitz

A task force is considering whether farmers enrolled in a preservation program should be allowed to add solar panels.

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

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

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

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.

Tired of bird poop at Great Lakes beaches? Send in the dogs, study says

April 3, 2019 | Gina Navaroli

A Central Michigan University study finds that dogs, particularly border collies, can greatly reduce bird poop at beaches that spread  E. coli.

Michigan environment roundup: DTE closing coal plants early

April 3, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

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

With Line 5 tunnel plan halted, next steps may belong to Enbridge Energy

April 1, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The chairman of the board that approved Michigan’s plans to pursue a tunnel around Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 oil pipeline doubts his board could defend its actions in court — because it no longer exists.

Halting Line 5 tunnel is ‘shameful.’ Prepare for a lawsuit, GOP leader says

March 31, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey defends process to build tunnel around oil pipeline and says Attorney General Dana Nessel ‘consistently tries … to upset what has been passed into law.’

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