Why Michigan Needs The Inflation Reduction Act Now

Critical climate and clean energy investments will create millions of good-paying jobs, lower energy costs for families, invest in disadvantaged communities and reduce climate pollution. Not only are Michiganders demanding climate action now, with 79% of registered voters supporting Congressional action on climate change, they are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. In 2020, flooding in Midland  caused at least $200 million worth of damage, demonstrating precisely why Congress must act now and pass the Inflation Reduction Act to secure Michigan’s future. Here’s why Michigan needs the climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Act now: 

Voters in Michigan want solutions to the climate crisis.

Investing in clean energy means jobs for Michigan.

  • In 2021, Michigan was home to 119,853 clean energy jobs, including 11,384 jobs in generating renewable electricity, 3,709 jobs in energy storage, 74,624 jobs in energy efficiency, and 29,484 jobs in clean vehicles. 
    • The Department of Energy’s 2022 Energy and Employment Report found that 9,974 Michigan workers were employed in solar and wind electric generation in 2021. 
    • In 2021, Michigan added the most new energy jobs for a total of 35,500, increasing energy employment in the state by 9.9%. 
  • One report published in 2020 found that even modest federal clean energy stimulus investments could generate 28,798 jobs in Michigan per year over a 5 year period. The hypothetical investments in that report were even smaller than those in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Michiganders are already feeling the impacts of climate change.

  • From 2011 to 2021, Michigan experienced 25 billion-dollar extreme weather events that caused a total of $118.3 billion in damages and 374 deaths.
  • The Great Lakes have been experiencing blooms of toxic algae as a result of pollution runoff, driven by heavy rains, which feeds the algae that thrives in warming water temperatures. 
  • Currently, 340,000 people are at risk of flooding in Michigan. In 2020, flooding in Midland following heavy rains caused at least $200 million worth of damage.

If we do nothing, it will get worse for communities across the state and cost billions of dollars.

  • Climate change is estimated to cost Michigan $5,178,650,000 a year by the year 2100. By 2025, cities along the Great Lakes basin could face almost $2 billion in damage from climate change, including flood damage, unpredictable lake water levels and changes in precipitation and evaporation rates.
  • By 2050, the number of extreme heat days Michigan experiences annually is projected to jump to 15. Emergency department visits due to extreme heat are likely to increase from 1,200 to 7,800 per year by 2070, according to a University of Michigan study. 
  • By 2050, Michigan is projected to see the severity of widespread summer drought triple, with potentially devastating impacts for the state’s agriculture industry. Climate change is projected to cause a 1.58% loss in crop yields in Michigan, including a 19% loss in grains. 

Climate change and fossil fuel pollution have a disproportionate impact on people of color in Michigan.

  • Communities of color in Michigan are disproportionately impacted by  water pollution. Michigan has more PFAS sites than any other state in the nation, impacting clean drinking water for more than 1.5 million residents. The Flint water crisis continues into 2021, with an estimated 500 homes in the majority-Black city still requiring pipeline replacement. 
  • In 2020, Detroit, which is 78% Black, was ranked the 12th worst city in America for particle pollution. The most polluted ZIP code in Michigan, 48217, is 81% Black, and four of the five most polluting refineries in Michigan are within five miles of this ZIP code. Counties like Wayne county are the epicenter of a pollution crisis that has resulted in at least 70 deaths each year. 
  • Due to warming temperatures, Detroit is projected to see 255 deaths a year from extreme heat between 2020 and 2029. A recent study found that 47% of Detroit homes had no or partial access to air conditioning, which will only heighten the risks of heat-related illnesses as the climate warms.