Evergreen Statement on Climate Investments in Whitmer Budget Proposal

In response to the release of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Michigan budget proposal, including its climate investments, Evergreen Action State Program Director Justin Balik released the following statement:

“Nine months ago, Governor Gretchen Whitmer laid out the MI Healthy Climate Plan, a critical roadmap to move Michigan to a just, clean economy with a clear timeline and targets. Her executive budget delivers many of the key investments necessary to implement the MI Healthy Climate Plan and paves the path to making Michigan a national leader in climate action and clean energy jobs. Governor Whitmer’s plan would make record investments in electric vehicle infrastructure, and clean and energy-efficient buildings, and deploy innovative MI Healthy Climate grants to engage local nonprofits in climate plan implementation. 

“We particularly commend the Governor for her visionary proposals to support a 21st-century sustainable transportation and mobility sector. Michigan is already a global leader in electric vehicle production, thanks to Governor Whitmer and the Michigan legislature’s investments. The Governor’s proposed tax exemption for electric vehicle purchases and investments in electric school buses, clean fleets, and public transit would rapidly accelerate EV deployment while promoting other low-carbon travel options. Moving forward, the legislature should pass these investments and add additional funding to the budget for whole-home repairs in disadvantaged communities. State government must also ensure that all of the proposed funding is implemented equitably. The legislature should also take action to codify the targets in the MI Healthy Climate Plan into state law.

“With much of the historic $370 billion in Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) climate investments being made right now, it’s time for states to move further and faster on climate action and clean energy. States can lead the way on climate action, and Michigan is poised for a leadership role with these investments supporting the MI Healthy Climate Plan.”

Last year, Evergreen Collaborative and Data for Progress released polling that showed that 66 percent of Michigan voters wanted to increase the amount of clean energy production in the state—including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. The polling also showed that nearly two-thirds of Michigan voters supported the IRA, and 71 percent of voters wanted Governor Whitmer and Michigan leaders to aggressively pursue federal clean energy investments from the federal law.

Evergreen Collaborative also launched Keep Leading,”  last year, which was a television ad that ran in Lansing, Michigan. The ad highlighted Michigan leaders’ bipartisan investments to advance electric vehicle manufacturing and create clean energy jobs, and called for the state to continue to lead on investments that build a clean energy future.  

Evergreen has been a leader in advancing policies at the federal and state level calling for major investments in electric vehicles in order to tackle the climate crisis, create millions of high-quality jobs and reduce pollution in frontline communities. Evergreen has released policy plans advocating for the Biden administration and Congress to expedite clean vehicle investments, and has advocated for states to invest in an equitable transition to electric school buses. Michigan’s bipartisan leadership on electric vehicles represents a model for the nation on clean vehicle deployment.