News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WCMU Radio and Television is off the air in northeast Michigan due to a fire. Click to learn more.

Climate change is a ‘kitchen table issue,’ advocates say 

Rafael Mojica with Soulardarity calls for more regulation on Michigan utility companies ahead of a state conference on climate change April 11.
Rafael Mojica with Soulardarity calls for more regulation on Michigan utility companies ahead of a state conference on climate change April 11.

Ahead of a state conference on climate change this week, environmental advocates called for more urgency in transitioning to renewable energy. They also called on the state to hold Michigan utility companies more accountable for failures.

The Michigan Healthy Climate Plan aims to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050.

Climate advocates say it’s a good first step, but more renewable energy policies need to be implemented – and sooner.

Rafael Mojica is with Soulardarity, a Highland Park nonprofit that fights for affordable energy rates. He said the legislature needs to avoid “false solutions” like carbon capture and fossil fuel-based hydrogen.

DTE operates one of the nation's dirtiest coal plants and continues their fossil fuel addiction by switching plants over to fracked gas,” Mojica said. “Our mothers, father, sisters, and brothers are paying the prices for this in terms of dangerous pollution, higher bills, and the worst service in the Midwest.”

Speakers referenced February power outages as an example of the need for more regulation on utilities and “energy democracy.”

Roslyn Ogburn is with the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. She said the state has an opportunity to invest in energy efficient upgrades, home weatherization, and renewables.

“Taking action on climate change is truly a kitchen table issue,” Ogburn said. “It means lowering our costs for our family, creating good-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree, protecting health, regardless of our incomes or zip code.”

Amidst the conference, Michigan Senate Democrats introduced a bill package to improve energy usage. The Michigan Environmental Council is applauding the measure, but warns of the plan’s clean fuels standard, which requires increased corn ethanol production.

Teresa Homsi is an environmental reporter and Report for America Corps Member based in northern Michigan for WCMU. She covers rural environmental issues, focused on contamination, conservation, and climate change.
Related Content