Detroit Today: How Michigan plans to transition to 100% clean energy

Gov. Whitmer hopes Michigan will reach economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050.

Photo of solar panels

Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her hopes to enact a 100% clean energy standard. The state has also implemented a new climate corps that is part of Michigan’s Americorps.

The Inflation Reduction Act has unlocked billions of dollars to fund clean energy projects across the United States, including Detroit, as the major car companies continue transitioning to electric vehicles.

How is Michigan ushering in a 100% clean energy standard?

State Sen. Sam Singh and University of Michigan’s Director of Sustainable Climate Action Engagement Liesl Clark joined Detroit Today to discuss Michigan’s shift to clean energy.

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Ben Jealous is the executive director of the Sierra Club. He says environmentalists have transitioned from an emphasis on preservation to changing America’s energy sources.

“Historically our advocacy has been about preserving forests and preserving wild places but increasingly it’s about how we power everything,” says Jealous.

State Senator Sam Singh is a Democrat from Lansing. Singh doubts the state of Michigan will make future investments in nuclear energy.

“We won’t see much new energy from the nuclear side, but we will see a continuation of what is already existing,” says Singh.

Liesl Clark is the director of sustainable climate action engagement for the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. Clark believes the state needs to invest in a range of technologies to shift to clean energy sources.

“When we talk about the types of energy resources that are going to be necessary to get us to these goals, it’s a lot of different kinds of energy resources,” says Clark. “Certainly, it’s wind and solar, but the state’s been working hard on a hydrogen initiative.”

Listen to Detroit Today with host Stephen Henderson weekdays from 9-10 a.m. ET on 101.9 WDET and streaming on-demand.

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