Quotable of the Year:
“If you’re a state like Michigan or Minnesota, and you’re looking at two of the greatest lakes in the world, being faced with the possibility of an Enbridge oil spill [from] some 50- or 60-year -old pipelines, you’d be pretty worried. And you should be.”
— Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth
In the last days of 2019, the Advance is running a series of our best stories from a few of the many issues we cover, from the environment to the 2020 election. With more than 2,000 stories to choose from, it was hard to pare the list down.
Here’s our roundup of our top environmental stories:
One of our first stories of the year was on Line 5, with newly inaugurated Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asking Attorney General Dana Nessel to issue an opinion on Enbridge’s tunnel approved during Lame Duck.
Just a few weeks ago, the Advance did a deep dive into issues with Line 5, Minnesota’s Line 3 and how the two oil pipelines have become an issue in the 2020 presidential race.
As part of our “Inside Michigan Government” series, the Advance sat down with Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).
Micheconomy columnist Rick Haglund wrote about Republicans and business interests were misguided to fight Whitmer on environmental measures early on in the year.
We also talked with Ninah Sasy, a Flint native and EGLE’s first clean water public advocate, about the Flint water crisis and other water safety issues for communities.
Climate change and environmental justice
Detroit residents talked about the environmental and health hazards they’ve long lived with during a congressional hearing.
You might think that the Sun Belt will feel the effects of climate change more than Michigan, but a new study shows that more heat-related deaths are projected in Detroit than in cities like Atlanta or Houston.
After taking over the U.S. House this year, Democrats wasted no time in crafting legislation to fight climate change, including a bill that would force President Trump to stay in the Paris Agreement.
And cities across the country and in Michigan held climate strike events, fueled by young activists.
Congress has held a number of hearings on PFAS, chemicals found in a number household items, and its impact on drinking water. Corporations like 3M have been a focus.
One of the most contaminated sites in Michigan is the former Wurtsmith Air Force base in Oscoda. The Advance reported from the town and how it’s dealing with health issues and the hit to outdoor tourism.