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Stateside: Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Today, we revisited a conversation about why Michigan may soon become a haven for those fleeing the effects of climate change elsewhere. Plus, Lester Graham from The Environment Report broke down why EVs pay less in road use taxes, and how local governments could level the playing field for drivers. We ended by returning to our conversation with Maria Dong, a Mattawan-based writer whose debut novel "Liar, Dreamer, Thief," was published in January.

Also, Bridge Michigan reporter Paula Gardner explained at the start of the show how DTE cut its operations budget just months before the ice storm — and why that may have led to the unusually long outages. DTE Energy did not respond to Stateside's request for comment in time for broadcast, but later provided the following statement:

"Our customers deserve a reliable electric grid, powered by cleaner energy. That’s why we have invested more than $5.4 billion in rebuilding our grid over the last five years and have plans to ramp that investment to $9 billion over the next five years. 

"Fallen trees and limbs are a major cause of power outages, as illustrated during the February ice storm.  We’ve been aggressively trimming trees – 25,000 miles over the last five years – and ramping that up to 6,000 miles per year. DTE’s tree trimming program and pole top maintenance programs are not a part of recent cost-cutting measures at the company." 

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  • Paula Gardner, business reporter and associate editor, Bridge Michigan
  • Sheri McWhirter, environment reporter, MLive
  • Lindsay Moore, reporter, MLive
  • Lester Graham, reporter, The Environment Report, Michigan Radio
  • Maria Dong, author of "Liar, Dreamer, Thief"
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