ELPC is working on several fronts to advance clean energy in Michigan. First, ELPC’s attorneys and advocates are working with the solar industry and the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to improve and expand utilities’ consumer-owned solar programs. Second, ELPC is challenging utilities to design more effective energy efficiency programs that produce long-term savings for consumers. Third, ELPC has conducted an analysis of the wind and solar supply chain in Michigan, finding that 121 Michigan companies provide more than 10,000 jobs in Michigan. Learn more in ELPC’s Clean Energy Supply Chain Report for Michigan.
The Saugatuck Coastal Dunes Area is a pristine assembly of beaches, freshwater dunes, water, woods and wetlands covering approximately 2,500 acres along the Lake Michigan coastline. A development proposal could destabilize the dunes, creating substantial risk for endangered wildlife and threatened habitat. ELPC serves as the legal counsel for the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance and the seven conservation, civic and historic preservation organizations that are fighting to protect the dunes from this destructive development plan that violates local zoning rules. Learn more about ELPC’s efforts to protect the Saugatuck Dunes.
ELPC has spent more than a decade advocating for a Midwest High-Speed Rail Network that would bring comfortable, convenient, fast passenger rail to Midwestern cities, including Kalamazoo and Detroit. Our work helped lead to a landmark 2009 federal investment in higher-speed passenger rail, including $2.5 billion to build out the Midwest network. Since then, Michigan has committed additional state funds. These investments have already led to improvements along the Chicago-Detroit corridor, including a new station in Battle Creek and restoration of track long 135 miles between Kalamazoo and Dearborn. Learn more about ELPC’s efforts to advance high-speed rail.
Enbridge’s 60-year-old “Line 5” pipeline carries over 500,000 gallons of crude oil and natural gas per day under the Straits of Mackinac – the narrow waterway separating Lake Michigan from Lake Huron as well as Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. The pipeline has increased in both flow and pressure. In part, that prompted the Michigan Attorney General and the Director of Michigan’s environmental agency to send a formal request to Enbridge Pipelines for more information regarding the pipeline’s status and maintenance. According to the National Wildlife Federation’s 2012 report, “Sunken Hazard,” a pipeline rupture would release 1.5 million gallons of oil into the Great Lakes even if Enbridge was able to shut down the pipeline in 8 minutes; in 2010, it took Enbridge too long to respond to its oil pipeline spill along Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. ELPC is working with a coalition focused on strategies to require Enbridge to remove, replace or upgrade this key part of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac.
ELPC created a volunteer Science Advisory Council to obtain scientific guidance on our work and to expand our networks to include advocates in the scientific community. In Michigan, ELPC has helped scientists engage with Michigan’s Congressional delegation. For example, in April 2012, more than 100 university scientists signed a letter calling on Congress to support the U.S. EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). In March 2011, more than 160 Michigan scientists asked Congress to oppose further attacks on U.S. EPA’s scientific authority. And in May 2009, more than 200 Michigan scientists urged Congress to take strong federal policy action on climate change. Learn more about ELPC’s science outreach efforts.
As home to the domestic auto industry and the nation’s largest investments in advanced battery manufacturing, Michigan has a key stake in the success of electric vehicles. The growth of electric vehicles will play a key role in reducing global warming pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. ELPC is working with partners in Michigan to advocate for policies that will support the success of electric vehicles, including a low-carbon fuel standard, incentives for electric vehicle charging equipment and off-peak charging rates for electric vehicles. Learn more about electric vehicles in the Midwest on ELPC’s dedicated website, www.PlugInChicagoMetro.org.