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Gov. Whitmer's aides lay out carbon reduction plans

The Carbon Green BioEnergy Refinery in Lake Odessa, Michigan.
Photo courtesy of Carbon Green BioEnergy
The Carbon Green BioEnergy Refinery in Lake Odessa, Michigan.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s cabinet members offered more details Friday on the goal of making Michigan a “carbon neutral” state within 30 years.

The plans include adding electric vehicle charging stations at state parks and recreation areas, and working with utilities to reduce emissions.

Liesl Clark is the director of the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. She said the state is setting targets, not mandates.

“I think it’s important for us to get that goal out there. I think it’s important for us to be assembling and making sure that we’re thinking creatively about how to improve our future, and that’s our intent here.”
Clark said the state’s plans will lean toward tried-and-tested solutions.

State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said going carbon neutral will have complications.

“The impact of this transition on communities in Michigan can create significant issues such as a reduced tax base, lost employment, reduction in services, site remediation, environmental justice, and the need for economic development.”

Some environmental groups have criticized Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s goal.

They say faster, more ambitious action is needed to avert greater damage from climate change.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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