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Statehouse Rally to Show "Hazards" of Inaction on Clean Power Plan

At the state Capitol, environmental groups will demonstrate what they say is the hazardous state of energy production in Michigan. (Brian Charles Watson/Wikimedia)
At the state Capitol, environmental groups will demonstrate what they say is the hazardous state of energy production in Michigan. (Brian Charles Watson/Wikimedia)
February 29, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – Activists donning hazmat suits and respirators will take to the steps of Michigan's Capitol today to show their outrage over Gov. Rick Snyder's stance on the Clean Power Plan.

After initially showing strong support for the regulations to reduce carbon pollution, the governor reversed his position when the Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan pending an appeals court ruling.

Dorthea Thomas, Environmental and Climate Justice Organizer for the democracy advocacy group Michigan United, explains that a host of environmental groups want the plan to go forward, so they are demonstrating the hazardous state of energy production in Michigan.

"Some of our members will have gas masks and face masks on to resemble the fact that if we don't act now, just like the water that has been poisoned in Flint, our air will be continuously poisoned," she states.

The Clean Power Plan requires Michigan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants 31 percent from 2012 levels by 2030.

More than two dozen states, including Michigan, challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to impose the regulations, and the Michigan Agency for Energy says the state will not move forward with a plan until there is a legal resolution.

Thomas says the groups also will give Snyder a letter demanding environmental justice be put first by continuing forward with the Clean Power Plan. She says cleaner sources of energy will provide opportunities to improve health, jobs and the economy.

"Every day that we stall is a day that our families continue to suffer from the devastating impacts of dirty energy,” she insists. “We cannot afford to wait, climate cannot wait, and so we applaud the state officials who are actually committed to moving forward with climate action."

Other organizations involved in the rally include Clean Water Action, the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Michigan Interfaith Power and Light. It begins at 12:30 p.m.


Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI