WSV’s Dan Robinson writes, “Who knew pipes and stormwater, roads and the electric grid, internet broadband access and housing would be such hot topics? With the infrastructure bills being considered by Congress, people from across the country and the political spectrum are debating these topics because they have such a direct impact on our lives. That impact can be felt in small communities like Three Rivers or in big cities like Detroit. And community-based groups aren’t waiting for government to be the only solution to problems.”
The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee late Thursday approved its first piece of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion spending blueprint on a party-line 24-13 vote. Here are four pieces of the Natural Resources Committee’s bill that could have a major climate impact if they’re passed into law.
The St. Joseph County Conservation District in conjunction with St. Joseph County Parks & Recreation are celebrating the St. Joseph River this weekend at Covered Bridge Farm.
For years, activists have been pushing for government recognition of what’s known as environmental justice, the broad movement to provide restitution to communities that have suffered disproportionate harm. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that passed the Senate earlier this month fell short of their wishes, advocates say. But Congress gets another chance in the $3.5 trillion budget and spending plan lawmakers are now writing.
Rick Haglund dissects whether Michigan can “grow its blue economy while being good stewards of the state’s most important natural resource.”
Charles Morris writes, “Our faith teaches us to look out for one another to address the crises before us, and as our nation continues to recover, we must now turn our attention to the climate crisis and environmental justice. A bold investment in clean energy infrastructure currently being discussed in Washington would do just that. This is an opportunity to invest in a clean energy future while addressing the injustices of the past.”
Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), are expected to bring the measure to the House floor for passage later this week.
WSV’s Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “I’ve written about the future in a previous column, and the subject came up for me again, unsurprisingly, as I watched The Tomorrow War, an Amazon-exclusive film. If you haven’t seen it and you don’t want spoilers, stop reading now and come back after you’ve watched it.”
EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a former top environmental official in North Carolina, said the agency is currently in the process of regulating two of the most studied types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in drinking water. Two Michigan Democrats, U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell of Dearborn and Dan Kildee of Flint, added that House Democratic leaders will bring the PFAS Action Act of 2021, which aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to the toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products, to a floor vote next week.
Michigan Advance’s Susan J. Demas writes, “We’ve rethought a lot of our ideas about conservation since Yellowstone was established as the nation’s first national park in 1872. Roads were built everywhere to accommodate travelers, often with little regard for the lands that were supposed to be protected. Wildlife was fed for visitors’ amusement, but we’ve sadly learned the toll that’s taken on the parks’ first inhabitants. Stemming the flow of visitors in our busiest parks is a win-win for the environment and weary travelers who will have more space to revel in their majesty.”
For years, Michigan officials have fretted about the ever-growing list of overdue maintenance needs at their 103 state parks: roads and trails, water and sewer systems, restrooms and electrical infrastructure. All are in dire need of replacement or repair — with a price tag that exceeds a quarter-billion dollars.
Ever thought about installing rooftop solar on your home? Thanks to outdated laws and big utility influence, you might not be able to much longer.
Speaking from the Straits State Park in St. Ignace on Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her plan to put $250 million in federal COVID-19 relief dollars toward “critical investments” in Michigan’s state parks and trails to increase recreation and tourism.
Senior Policy Advisor at FLOW (For Love of Water) Dave Dempsey asks the State of Michigan to stop neglecting Michigan’s groundwater which according to Dempsey is “increasingly under threat.”
On Thursday, April 15, members of a U.S. House Natural Resources panel agreed on the need to clean up and cap abandoned oil and gas wells, but disagreed along party lines about the extent of the federal government’s role in well regulation.
A proposed solar farm in Fabius Township is generating more controversy than energy at the moment. The project, which is in the “very preliminary” stages of development, has some township residents concerned about how it would affect property values, how it may look, and whether it will affect lifestyles of those who live nearby.
In his first week in office, President Joe Biden paused new oil and gas leasing on federal lands as his administration reviewed fossil fuel development policy. Now that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has taken office, the administration is gearing up to begin that process. A forum comprising the energy industry, conservation groups, labor organizations and others will meet virtually March 25 in the first public event of the review.
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.), who has come out in favor of shutting down the Canadian Line 5 oil pipeline in the Mackinac Straits, has been selected to lead the Senate panel responsible for overseeing the pipeline’s federal regulators.