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Historic Federal Funding is Coming to Michigan. Governor Whitmer Has a Plan to Invest it Wisely

Thanks to Governor Whitmer’s early leadership, Michigan is already poised to reap the benefits of the historic Inflation Reduction Act.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at an event in 2021.

By Evergreen Action and Michigan League of Conservation Voters 

All politics may be local, but a lot of decisions about where to spend billions of federal dollars over the next decade will be made in Lansing. That’s because Congress recently gave Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and other state leaders around the country, an unprecedented opportunity: the Inflation Reduction Act is now law, and states have a key role in implementing the $370 billion it contains to tackle the climate crisis while creating good union jobs, lowering costs, and investing directly in communities. Thanks to Governor Whitmer’s early leadership, Michigan is already poised to reap the benefits of this historic law.

The IRA’s climate spending and tax credits will protect Michigan’s water, cut air pollution in overburdened frontline communities, create good jobs, lower electricity costs, and build infrastructure for the 21st century. In the weeks since the IRA’s passage, Governor Whitmer has stepped up with a comprehensive Executive Directive for targeting IRA investments. Her forward-thinking action marks the start of a new era, where state and federal governments collaborate to realize a bold vision for Michigan’s economic and environmental future.

Governor Whitmer is setting Michigan up to capitalize on these opportunities, and establishing a high bar for other governors approaching IRA implementation. She is instructing state agencies to “leverage all available federal dollars” across Michigan’s economy, invest IRA funds in electric vehicle production, expand domestic energy, grow advanced manufacturing, and take action on climate change. The governor has likewise initiated outreach to Michigan-based businesses to ensure they’re aware of federal funding opportunities. Her vision for IRA implementation prioritizes lowering consumer costs, reducing pollution in our air and water, protecting our health, creating good jobs, and making sure Michigan is a vibrant state for our childrens’ future.


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The Inflation Reduction Act enjoys a +37-point margin among Michigan voters, according to an August 2022 poll from Data for Progress and Evergreen Collaborative

Bipartisan majorities of Michiganders already support Governor Whitmer’s bold implementation strategy. In recent polling, Data for Progress and Evergreen Collaborative found that 71 percent of Michigan voters — including 91 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Independents, and 52 percent of Republicans — want the Governor to fight to secure Michigan’s share of federal funding for climate and clean energy projects. Even voters who view the Inflation Reduction Act with some skepticism want the Governor to aggressively pursue its discretionary funding to support Michigan jobs.

Those voters understand the sweeping benefits that such investments will bring. Environmental justice block grants will tackle air and water pollution while addressing historic injustices in overburdened communities. Other programs will sustain economic growth statewide. Michigan has already become a national leader in manufacturing electric vehicles. At least $2 billion in IRA investments will re-tool existing auto manufacturing in Michigan, and there is $1 billion for heavy-duty vehicle electrification. Governor Whitmer is keeping good jobs in Michigan and preserving the state’s position as an auto industry leader through the EV transition, thanks to the IRA.

But the IRA’s benefits aren’t just limited to manufacturing and Michigan’s cities. Over $40 billion in climate-smart agricultural investments will bring benefits to another essential state industry for years to come, including technical assistance, relief for distressed borrowers, and increased funding to existing programs that will allow for the implementation of conservation measures and carbon storage.

We’ve already seen examples of what this vision can achieve. Governor Whitmer recently announced $4 billion of investments that will create more than 4,000 jobs in battery manufacturing, building on prior commitments of $8.7 billion for Michigan battery production. Ford is investing $2 billion and creating good union jobs across three Michigan EV assembly plants. These initiatives were catalyzed by state programs. With IRA dollars flowing into Michigan, Governor Whitmer is capitalizing on countless further opportunities to pair federal dollars with private investment.

For low-income Michiganders, the IRA includes a $1 billion grant program to help residents living in affordable housing units save money on energy bills via energy efficiency improvements. A number of IRA programs will help realize the state’s commitment to environmental justice. 

The MI Healthy Climate Program has already saved Michigan energy customers $53 million statewide, and IRA incentives will help households save thousands more on energy bills and new efficient appliances – including $1,750 in tax credits for water heaters, $8,000 for heat pumps, and $840 for electric stove-stops and clothes dryers. 

Governor Whitmer is meeting the moment. Other state executives should look to her and Michigan as an example. Federal funding doesn’t spend itself, and it’s incumbent on governors to partner with the Biden administration to ensure this new law propels us toward an equitable, clean energy future. Michigan is a unique state, with a long history of good union jobs, thriving industry, clean water, and robust infrastructure. Governor Whitmer has clearly tailored her MI Healthy Climate Plan to ensure Michigan’s workers can compete as our economy transitions away from fossil fuels. 

The IRA offers any number of opportunities for long-term investments in Michigan communities. We can lift up Michiganders across the state with good jobs and a climate-resilient economy, but we’ll only achieve that potential with a dedicated governor—and national trailblazer—leading the way.  Governor Whitmer is taking up that charge, and Michiganders stand to benefit as she directs investments that will deliver good-paying jobs and help grow Michigan's economy for decades to come.

Get the Fact Sheet: What Does the Inflation Reduction Act Mean for Michigan?

We’ve put together a short fact sheet that makes clear how Michigan can take full advantage of all the discretionary funding in the IRA and how the programs established in this new law align with the state's existing climate and environmental justice strategies. Download the fact sheet now. 

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