Nov 19, 2015

Take Action: Tell Your Representative to Vote NO on Destructive Energy Legislation!

1) Click here and put your address into the "Find a Representative" form to find out who your state Representative is.
2) Review our talking points (below).
3) Click here to find your state Representative's office phone number.
4) Call your state Representative's office and use the talking points to tell them: vote NO on House Bill 4297 and 4298.

Talking Points
I urge you to vote NO on HB 4297-4298 (sponsored by Rep. Aric Nesbitt). These bills replace Michigan's renewable energy/efficiency mandates with an Integrated Resource Planning process, establish an unenforceable 30% renewable/efficiency goal, and remove sustainability criteria for wood/tree biomass energy. I oppose this legislation because it would keep our electric grid powered by dirty, polluting, and unsustainable fossil fuels. It would also install a planning process that provides minimal accountability and oversight of major utility companies.

I want Michigan to hold utility companies accountable and require them to invest in renewable energy and efficiency. The unenforceable goal and toothless Integrated Resource Planning process in HB 4297-4298 will not accomplish this.

Here is want I want to see in Michigan's next energy policy:
-Increase Michigan's renewable energy standard (not an unenforceable goal) to 30% by 2030.
-Increase Michigan's energy efficiency/optimization standard from 1% to 2% annually.
-Remove the existing spending cap on Michigan's energy efficiency program.
-Ensure that "clean" or "renewable" energy is not redefined to include any fossil fuels, nuclear energy, or energy from incinerating wastes.
-Ensure that customers are able to produce their own energy and are allowed to either use that energy themselves or sell it back to a utility company at full price, not a wholesale price.
-Enable everyone to participate in community renewable energy projects.

Please vote NO on HB 4297-4298 in order to support clean air, clean water and clean energy.

Sep 29, 2015

Oct, 1, Sustainable Practices in a Michigan City

Mayor George Heartwell will talk about challenges and successes of implementing sustainable practices within the City of Grand Rapids.
Free and open to the public.

Thursday, October 1, 2015
Rackham Amphitheatre, 915 E. Washington St.

This event is hosted by Program in the Environment (PitE) and co-sponsored by Graham Sustainability Institute; Center for Local, State, & Urban Policy (CLOSUP), Ford School; Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; Environmental Law and Policy Program; Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute

Aug 21, 2015

Deep Well Injection in Michigan: Deepening Our Understanding and Exploring What We Can Do About It

Injection well
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has received applications for permits for deep well injection activity in more than a dozen counties. Is your county one of them? What does it mean for you and your family? Find out at our workshop Sep. 26!
What do you know about deep injection wells in Michigan? If the answer is "not much," then please consider joining us on Sep. 26 at Alma College for an important workshop about the environmental risks this activity (taking place in counties around the state) poses to our water quality and environment. 
WHATDeep Well Injection in Michigan: Deepening Our Understanding and Exploring What We Can Do About It
WHEN: Sat., Sep 26, 10am - 2pm
WHERE: Alma College, 614 W. Superior St., Alma; Room L4 of the DOW/KAPP Bldg.
Permits for injection wells containing hazardous substances posing a serious threat to water quality are increasing in Michigan, yet most people including local public officials know little about them. In an effort to educate Michigan citizens and local governments, Sierra Club has paired with Grobbel Environmental & Planning Associates to present a workshop on about the history, purpose and risks of injection wells in Michigan. 
Christopher P. Grobbel, PhD, is an environmental consultant based in Traverse City and  MSU professor of environmental planning and management, environmental impact assessment, environmental law, and sustainability studies. 
Christopher P. Grobbel, PhD, will present "Deep Well Injection in Michigan: Deepening Our Understanding and Exploring What We Can Do About It" on Saturday, Sep. 26, from 10am - 2pm at Alma College, 614 W. Superior St. The event takes place in Room L4 of the DOW/KAPP building. 
Grobbel will lay out the context for this activity in Michigan and then explore the environmental risk associated with it and how the public can get involved in the process. Grobbel's presentation will cover the history and regulatory framework of injections wells, the technology and geology involved in Michigan, and dangers such as spills and seismic activity.  
On or before Sep. 18: $25 general public/$15 students (with ID). The cost covers lunch and all conference materials.
After Sep. 18: $35 for the general public; $20 for studentsFinal registration deadline is Sep. 25. No walk-ins. 

Jul 29, 2015

Sierra Club Seeking Communication Internship Applicants

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter Communications Internship

What is the Sierra Club?
The Sierra Club's members and supporters are more than 2.4 million of your friends and neighbors.  Inspired by nature, we work together to protect our communities and the planet. Founded in 1892, the Club is America's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Our mission is to: (1) Explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; (2) Practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; (3) Educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and (4) Use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.

Internship Responsibilities
In this internship, you will directly assist the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter staff in communicating to our members, the public and the media with a focus on environmental advocacy. Potential responsibilities include helping plan the Sierra Club’s online newsletter, tracking media hits, maintaining media email contact lists, writing articles about environmental topics, managing social media accounts, preparing social media reports for the chapter’s Executive Committee, website support, drafting press releases, helping create educational presentations, organizing events, assisting with public outreach, working with Sierra Club volunteers to carry out environmental campaign priorities, research, data entry and office work as needed.

The ideal applicant will have good writing and research skills, a knowledge or interest in environmental issues,
a knowledge or interest in communication and social media, and be proficient in Microsoft Office applications and Google Documents.  They will be able to take direction on projects and work independently.

Internship positions are available for spring (January-May), summer (May-August), and fall (August-December) semesters, and can be shortened or extended as needed. This internship is unpaid, but can earn you class credit. The internship is housed in our Lansing office, located at 109 E. Grand River Ave. Lansing, MI 48906. Internships can be arranged for between 15 to 25 hours per week, with flexible scheduling, primarily during business hours (9am-6pm).

To apply, send resume to and, with a brief (one-two paragraphs) statement describing your interest in this internship.

Mike Berkowitz
Legislative & Political Director
Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

109 E. Grand River Ave.
Lansing, MI 48906

Office: (517) 484-2372 Ext. 13