Tag Archives: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan opens 3.3M farmland acres to bee-friendly solar projects

By Catherine Morehouse, Associate Editor, Utility Dive

Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday announced an executive decision that frees up 3.3 million acres of farmland protected under the state’s Farmland and Open Space Program to solar development. Previously, the land was allowed to host wind turbines and oil and gas exploration, but solar was historically restricted because it was considered to have a larger footprint, Tom Zimnicki, agriculture policy director at the Michigan Environmental Council, told Utility Dive. But innovations in solar siting are making those installations more compatible with agricultural land, and under Whitmer’s decision, solar projects on protected farmland will be required to meet Michigan’s pollinator-friendly guidelines. Continue reading here.

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About Catherine Morehouse

Before joining Industry Dive, Catherine was at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska where she worked as News Editor and then Editor-in-Chief of The Creightonian. She has a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science from Creighton.

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About Rob Davis

Rob Davis directs the Center for Pollinators in Energy and also leads the Media & Innovation Lab at Fresh Energy in Minnesota. Top photo by Davis.

Posts by Rob Davis

 

Kearney’s Solar Farm is a nationally-recognized pollinator-friendly site, benefiting local food producers. 

More Iowa Farmers Adapting to Climate Change

By Roz Brown, Public News Service – Iowa

Katie Rock, policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, said when talking to Iowa farmers, it’s increasingly clear that many want to innovate on their farms to address climate change. “They’ve taken the initiative to add on-site solar power and make energy-efficient upgrades, and these changes have led to significant cost-savings,” Rock said. “And farmers and landowners, they also lead through conservation practices that can improve soil health.”

Matt Russell is executive director of the state’s Interfaith Power and Light. He believes Iowa and other Midwest states that provide America’s food are in a position to lead the conversation on climate change. “One of our strongest ways to lead is to engage Iowa farmers to innovate on their farms, capturing carbon, generating renewable energy,” Russell said. “And then also to advocate for those practices and the resources to make that happen on their farms.”

Read the entire article or listen to the story here.

Photo: Flooding has cost Iowa residents, businesses and farmers about $18 billion over nearly three decades, according to a 2018 University of Iowa study. Credit: Pixabay/werner22brigitte

MORE CLIMATE ACTION NEWS

Michigan’s New Governor Puts Climate Change at Heart of Government, Inside Climate News

Gretchen Whitmer created a new office of climate and energy and is the 20th governor to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, committing to the Paris climate principles. Photo Credit: Governor Whitmer’s Office


IN NEBRASKA: UPCOMING EVENTS & RESOURCES

Nebraska Legislative Hearing
On Monday, February 11 at 12 pm there will be a hearing on LB283 before the Executive Board in room 1525. LB283 would provide funding to the University of Nebraska to
develop a plan for adapting to and mitigating the impacts of
climate change.

You can testify at the hearing or send written testimony to Senator Mike Hilgers, Executive Board Chair, by this Friday, February 8th. His email address is: mhilgers@leg.ne.gov.
Your letter must include your name and address, state a position for, against or neutral on the bill and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.
Nebraska Legislature: Testifier Tips
Nebraska Legislature News