Clean Mobility Budget

Clean Mobility, Energy Efficient Homes Get Boost in Gov. Whitmer’s Budget Proposal  

Groups say budget proposal investments are good first step, further funding needed to meet climate crisis

LANSING, Mich. – A diverse group of non-profit organizations today applauded Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal for including investments in clean mobility, energy efficient homes and other pollution reduction programs, while also saying further funding needs to be made to meet the climate crisis.

The governor outlined specific investments that will further transition Michigan toward cleaner sources of energy, create jobs, lower costs and improve public health by reducing dangerous pollution in the air and water. Some of these incorporated recommendations from organizations focused on healthy, affordable homes and clean mobility. The state budget also draws down federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Organizations released the following statements responding to the budget proposal:

“The Governor’s budget proposal points to the clean energy transition moving forward in Michigan,” said Derrell Slaughter, Michigan clean energy advocate at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “There are a number of smart and needed investments that will create jobs, lower electricity bills, and cut pollution.”

“We  support the Governor’s budget proposal because it improves clean energy infrastructure and policies that lead to a reduction in dangerous pollution that puts Michiganders’ lives at risk,” said Kathleen Slonager, RN, AE-C, CCH, director of the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America – Michigan Chapter

“Governor Whitmer’s plan for significant investments in electric vehicle fleet conversions and charging will continue to position Michigan as a leader in the advanced mobility industry,” said Dr. Laura Sherman, president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. “Investments in EV infrastructure, especially for public charging, public transit, and home charger and panel upgrades, will benefit communities across the state. Communities, residents, and businesses will also benefit from the proposed investments in home weatherization, electrification upgrades, and incentives for hosting solar and wind projects. The advanced energy industry looks forward to working with the Governor to put these investments into action to support more well-paying jobs and expanded access to clean energy and mobility.”

“The state that put the world on wheels can now help to lead the transition to electric vehicles with the clean mobility investments Gov. Whitmer included in this budget,” said Charles Griffith, climate and energy program director for the Ecology Center. “The proposed clean mobility investments-- for electric school buses,  EV charging stations and government fleets, as well as a sales tax credit for the purchase of new and used EVs--will all help to reduce pollution from the tailpipe and improve public health, while also meeting the goals of the MI Healthy Climate Plan. While we will continue advocating for additional state budget support for e-bikes, public transit and additional non-motorized mobility programs, the governor’s budget is a great step forward.” 

“Additional funding for home energy upgrades and weatherization can make a difference for homeowners and renters across Michigan, said Charlotte Jameson, chief policy officer for the Michigan Environmental Council. “Two out of every five homes on a Michigan block were built before 1960 and are desperately in need of efficiency upgrades, removal of toxins like lead paint and asbestos. While this is a great starting point, we believe more resources need to be placed into making whole-home retrofits, which in turn will create jobs and provide additional benefits.”

“It’s all about saving money,”  said Martin Kushler, senior fellow with the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. “Michigan has to import nearly all of the coal, oil and natural gas we use, at a total cost of nearly $18 billion per year. The support for energy efficiency programs for Michigan homes in the Governor’s budget proposal will not only save money directly in those homes, it will help reduce that dollar drain from the state.”

"Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action (MiCCA) applauds the Governor’s proposed budget because electrifying our building and transportation sectors, especially if powered by clean energy, cleans up the air inside and out, saves lives and healthcare dollars, and makes all Michiganders more healthy,” said Dr. Elizabeth (Lisa) Del Buono, founder and president of Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action.

“These budget investments focus on key areas that need support today, including sourcing critical minerals, electrifying buses to give kids a clean ride to school, increasing access to EV charging for fleets and families, and transitioning public fleets to alternative fuels,” said Jane McCurry, executive director of Clean Fuels Michigan and a member of the Council on Future Mobility and Electrification. “This slate of incentives will support a thriving clean mobility sector, create good-paying jobs, and increase access to clean mobility solutions across Michigan.”

“Scientific studies show that climate change is the biggest threat to birds and people alike, with two-thirds of North American bird species at risk of extinction,” said Adam Forrer, Policy Director of Climate for Audubon Great Lakes. “Governor Whitmer’s investment in properly sited renewable energy and climate smart agricultural practices will help to protect Michigan’s birds and people for generations, while growing Michigan’s economy.” 

“Governor Whitmer’s budget reflects the needs and priorities of the people of Michigan,” said Tim Minotas, legislative and political coordinator of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “We are at the perfect inflection point to build a stronger, more prosperous, and equitable state as we take on the great challenge of climate change. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature in seizing this opportunity to advance clean energy jobs, resiliency, and a sustainable economy that benefits all of our residents.”