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MICHELE OBERHOLTZER

Environmental Policy Plan

Michigan has abundant natural resources and we must ensure that all people have access to clean water, air and land. We must fight climate change and protect our local and global environment.

We must fight environmental racism, the destruction of and disrespect to indigenous land and people, and the threats to our many, diverse ecosystems.

WATER

  • Water is a human right. No person shall be denied water, directly or indirectly, because of race, class, socioeconomic status, or geography.
  • We must end the water shutoffs in Detroit.  
  • We must follow a fair price structure for water and make water bills affordable.
    • We also need to include sewer charges in state limits for fair pricing of water bills.
  • Michigan’s Great Lakes supply 20% of the freshwater in the WORLD. We must protect our Great Lakes.
    • Shut down Enbridge Line 5, which threatens our water in the Straits of Mackinac every day as it sends millions of gallons of oil through aging pipelines.
    • Since 1968, the pipeline has spilled 29 times, leaving more than 1 million gallons of oil in our water supply. This must end NOW.
    • I will advance legislation to prohibit any future oil pipelines through the Great Lakes.
  • We must increase costs and enforce reinvestment strategies for companies that benefit from public water resources.
  • We must extend the winter shutoff protection and MI energy assistance program to include access to water.

ENERGY

  • We must be 100% committed to transition to complete renewable energy in Michigan. This means we should prohibit any new fossil fuel infrastructure.
  • We must ban fracking in the absence of lifecycle analysis and Environmental Impact Assessments for waste water and waste material
  • We should eliminate “waste to energy” facilities from Renewable Energy Credit designation.
  • We need to establish correct classification of radioactive waste relating to fracking.

WASTE 

  • We must immediately shut down the Detroit Incinerator, and discuss reparations for families experiencing health and safety issues from the Incinerator. We cannot allow Waste Processing Systems to be co-located with low-income areas and communities of color. Clean air is a human right, not a privilege.  
  • We must designate incinerator waste and fracking water as toxic waste, and ensure that this toxic waste does not harm residents of Detroit and Hamtramck.
  • We need to incentivize recycling, composting, bottle returns and rainwater collection.
  • We should include plastic water bottles as returnables.
  • We should reintroduce the “polluter pay” law to hold people or corporations accountable for harming our environment.

GENERAL POLICY REFORMS

  • We cannot allow low-income areas and areas with high populations of people of color to remain as the dumping grounds for waste and pollutants in Detroit and throughout the state. This is a Civil Rights issue, and no individual should be denied a clean environment because of their identity.
  • I call for an audit of Michigan’s compliance toward treaties with indigenous peoples and to ensure that everything from explicit land use to water extraction permitting are not directly or indirectly harming protected lands.
  • I demand more public disclosure from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) INCLUDING reporting of local economic and environmental impact, and INCLUDING the range of options and conditions available to the board.
  • I will work to establish regulatory requirements/thresholds for air quality in schools and densely populated areas. We must consider aggregate impact when issuing permits!
  • I will work for zero-tolerance policies for demolition contractors receiving public funds if found to be in violation of practices that curb lead exposure or otherwise endanger residents.
  • DO NOT ALLOW the “fox guarding the henhouse” law wherein industry would be authorized to regulate itself on permitting requirements.