A sketch of the state, Michigan.

Michiganders, it’s your turn to be thinking green this voting season!

Voting in Michigan

District 13, you have a special election this time around, as your representative resigned in December. If you’re a constituent of 13, we’ve explained a little more when we review your candidates.

Since Michigan has an open primary system, you can vote in whichever party’s primary you choose, no need to be affiliated. The candidate who received the most votes wins, regardless of if they win a majority.

Things on the ballot: US House, US Senate, Congressional special election, governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state executive offices, state senate, state house, supreme court, appellate courts, local judges, state ballot measures, school boards, municipal, recalls, and candidate ballot access.

U.S. Senate

For Senators, Michigan, you only have a few people running. We like what Debbie has done for the environment and the Great Lakes, so that’s why we’re recommending her.

Our pick: Debbie Stabenow – (Campaign Site)

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent since 2001
  • Energy and Natural Resources, Member
  • Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Ranking Member
  • Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining, Member
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, 1997-2000

One of Debbie’s first pieces of legislation to be passed in Congress was a bill that banned offshore drilling (both oil and gas) in the Great Lakes. This is a huge reason why the Great Lakes have stayed clean from major oil dumps and other possible hazardous incidents that come from offshore drilling. She authored the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which allows Michiganders everywhere to enjoy the Lakes without worrying about pollution and garbage. Since this initiative is on the chopping block, Debbie has been fighting non-stop to make sure that the Great Lakes don’t lose the funding they desperately need to stay clean and enjoyable for everyone.

Debbie also authored and passed the (bipartisan) Stop Invasive Species Act, which requires the federal government to take action against the spread of Asian Carp in the Great Lakes, which have been threatening jobs and native species almost to extinction. She has also been leading the effort to stop Canada from building a nuclear waste facility right on the border of Lake Huron, which could have potentially disastrous effects on the state’s entire ecosystem.

As Co-Chai of the bipartisan Senate Great Lakes Taskforce, she has been bringing all different kinds of invested people to the table to fix and protect the biggest economic driver of the state.
Debbie has always had a strong platform on reducing offshore drilling and keeping our water clean from pollutants that come from big business. She has also voted in favor of reducing tax incentives for fossil fuel and oil companies, which would give sustainable energy platforms a better chance at expansion and market competition.

Other Senator Candidates:

U.S. House of Representatives

District 1

District 1, you only have two candidates, and one is your incumbent. Since neither have great sustainable energy platforms, we won’t be endorsing either. Buuuut, here are a few facts about your incumbent:

Jack Bergman (R) – (Campaign Site) – Incumbent since 2016

Bergman is a supporter of keeping the Great Lakes funded. He’s fought for legislation to keep invasive species out of the Lakes, like Asian carp, and has also introduced legislation to the Cormorant population under control, which has a small but noticeable effect on the fish population. (We personally believe that over-fishing is probably more to blame than the birds when it comes to dwindling fish populations, but the Cormorant does love fish.) We mostly just like that he’s been a strong supporter of keeping our Great Lakes funded.

Other District 1 Candidate:

District 2

District 2, you also only have two candidates. We’re endorsing one of them:

Our pick: Rob Davidson 

  • Democrat
  • Physician

Rob has a few ideas on the subject of sustainable energy that are pretty neat. He wants to promote solar and wind power in rural communities, especially farms, where this energy could change the production needs and consumption of energy as we know it. By bringing wind and solar energy to rural communities, the collective price of sustainable energy would drop. This is a great idea, considering that rural communities are often left without power due to poor electric infrastructure and weather conditions. Davison’s line of thinking is that if local farms have the energy they need to power themselves, they won’t be wasting money on importing energy, and can keep farms in families and local. (It also reduces some of the pollution that is associated with large farms, especially dairy farms). Turning to solar and wind also keeps the air and water cleaner, so Pure Michigan can stay pure.

Davison also wants to see some more ~active~ partnerships between the economy and battery research. He thinks that if the US can perfect and research super powerful batteries, the auto industry, military, construction jobs, health etc. etc. you get the picture, will have increased economic growth AND be sustainable and cleaner. We like this idea.

Another thing that piqued our interest was putting emissions caps on polluting energy sources as a way to protect citizens from air and water pollutants. This is a good idea. Protection is always a good idea, and eventually, these energy sources will run out anyway. It’s good to phase them out before they actually run out.

As far as the urban section goes, he wants to see smarter building technology and better energy infrastructure. We can get behind that. Energy efficiency is more step closer to energy sustainability.

Other District 2 Candidate:

District 3

Our pick: Fred Wooden

  • Democrat
  • Unitarian Minister

Fred has got some ambitious ideas! First, he has this theory about the tieing the environmental cost of industry into the profit/loss equations that drive these industries. If that were a normal part of business, then taxes addressing environmental pollution that would be put towards rectifying the damages or stopping them at the source would also be normal. If corporations take independent action to curb greenhouse gas emissions or minimize pollution, then they would receive tax breaks from the government for these efforts.

Another good idea that Fred has in environmental tariffs. This would pertain to any imports that we have, looking at the material and how it is produced, and decide if it should have a tariff depending on these factors. This would make industries and people more likely to purchase either locally, or through imports that have been made ethically and with the environment in mind.

Fred suggests reparative action, which at this stage, is basically a necessity. This includes more actively addressing how to clean polluted air, water, and earth. The benefits of this type of action are endless, and we endlessly support this motion.

Overall, Fred likes to emphasize that it’s not just a federal issue to clean and maintain our environment, but that local and state level authorities should be making moves to keep the environment clean and move towards sustainable energy. Moving away from natural gas and oil shouldn’t be a burden to our industrial economy, but instead an opportunity for Americans everywhere to expand the job market and increase our knowledge and abilities when it comes to green energy.

Other District 3 Candidates:

District 4

Hey District 4, you don’t have candidates with well-defined or good sustainable energy platforms, so it’s up to you to make a decision based on other important factors.

Here are your candidates:

District 5

Hey 5, you did a good job with your incumbent. We’re endorsing him.

Our pick: Dan Kildee – (Campaign Site)

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent since 2012

We like what we see when it comes to Kildee. He puts the Great Lakes first in his politics, and it shows. He’s always opposed funding cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which uses government funds to protect the Lakes from invasive species, pollution, and provides countless jobs to Michiganders everywhere. It’s a great fund that has helped Michigan remain clean and provide water and fish to millions of people across the state and nation. The revenue that the Great Lakes bring to Michigan is a staple of Michigan’s economy, and without this fund, thousands of jobs will vanish and even more, groundwater will become contaminated. The GLRI is currently up to be eliminated by the Trump administration.

Another big issue for Kildee is the Canadian Nuclear waste site right on Lake Huron. the consequences of using a Great Lake as a nuclear waste facility are endless, and Kildee has been endlessly opposing the construction of this facility through international means along with Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.

One of the biggest water polluters in the world is plastic, and from that, a large portion of that plastic comes from aquaculture, or commercial fishing. Kildee has introduced legislation that would minimalize this pollution by banning harmful aquaculture practices that bring diseases, invasive species, and fishing habits that are unhealthy and unsustainable for the environment.
Since Nestle is a big deal in Michigan, Kildee has a few things to address their harmful business plans. Nestle itself has admitted that the amount of water they would harvest for commercial interest is more than the watersheds could naturally resupply. This is a huge issue for our beautiful wilderness, rivers, and lakes everywhere. When the ground runs out of water, these bodies of water dry up, and so does all of the wildlife that relies on these bodies of water. Kildee has spoken out against this unsustainable business model and continues to oppose Nestle’s unethical use of the Great Lakes and Michigan.

Other District 5 Candidate:

District 6

District 6, we’re impressed! You have quite a few great candidates to choose from. We’ve chosen the most well-rounded candidate, but we’re putting some info out about your incumbent, who has had some really great environmental victories.

Our pick: David Benac

  • Democrat
  • College Professor
  • Sanders Campaign Activist

Benac has quite a bit to say when it comes to the environment. Some of his major points cover the economic pros of switching to sustainable energy. Sustainable energy is providing jobs in more geographic locations than fossil fuels and is bringing three to four times the amount of actual job opportunities to the US than fossil fuels. He’s committed to educating and working with Americans to move from fossil fuels and towards sustainable energy practices- including funding for tuition in this job area.

Benac stands with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Clean Water Act. He also supports the EPA, but would like to see some better leadership there. We couldn’t agree more. One of his major efforts as far as clean water goes is testing public schools for water contaminants, to make sure children and students have access to clean water in public buildings.

Supporting and establishing habits for Michigan wildlife is also high on his list. Maintaining habitats and protecting our forests and parks from poachers and defunding is another hallmark of his campaign.

As far as climate change goes, he wants to end every subsidy for offshore drilling, fracking, and pipeline construction. He wants to see our energy infrastructure rebuilt to mirror the advances we as a country can and have made in sustainable energy.

Finally, he’s a big supporter of the Off Fossil Fuels For A Better Future Act, which would have America moving almost completely away from fossil fuels by 2030. Ambitious, and we support it.

Other District 6 Candidates:
  • Fred Upton (R) – (Campaign Site) – incumbent since 1986 – Fred has done a few cool things for the environment. He spearheaded the legislation that banned microbeads. These microbeads were causing huge pollution issues and clogging up waterways. President Obama signed this legislation into law in 2015, a big win for Michiganders everywhere. He’s been fighting the good fight against invasive species, particularly Asian carp, and has also been supporting legislation that will stop British Petroleum from dumping toxins into Lake Michigan. He has also worked with Dan Kildee, mentioned above, to work on fixing water infrastructure to keep disasters like Flint from recurring.
  • Rich Eichholz (D)
  • George Franklin (D)
  • Matt Longjohn (D)

District 7

District 7, none of your candidates have great platforms on sustainable energy or green technology. Here’s what we have on your candidates:

  • Steve Friday (D) – Steve wants to see green energy take over where coal and petroleum are. He would introduce programs to train ex-coal workers to become proficient working in the green energy sector. He also proposes expanding the availability of recycling (YAY), penalties for pollution is a must, and using the money collected from these penalties to fund state and national parks.
  • Tim Walberg (R) – (Campaign Site) – incumbent since 2011
  • Gretchen Driskell (D)

District 8

We’ve got a pretty awesome candidate to unpack for you, District 8!

Our pick: Elissa Slotkin

  • Democrat
  • Ex-US Asst Secretary of Defense
  • Ex-NSC Official
  • Ex-CIA Analyst

Elissa has an impressive resume. She’s worked in government since she graduated from grad school at Columbia, and has worked with a lot of different politicians and servicemen and women. She knows firsthand just how important the environment and a green-economy is for Michigan to remain as beautiful and useful as it is now.

Elissa staunch opposes the construction of Line 5, the proposed pipeline that would run beneath the Great Lakes, and believes that a third, and very unbiased party should be the one who even has any input on the construction or implementation of these pipelines, not the government or federally backed corporations. She participated in the first study that Pentagon did on Climate Change, and was one of the first people to acknowledge the effects the climate change has on the environment and our national security, including rising sea levels and superstorms. She wants the green economy to boom, and to see more wind and solar jobs in the state. Increasing this economy taps into a whole undiscovered potential for Michigan jobs and economic growth.

Protecting and restoring Michigan’s natural resources are Elissa’s priority. She has an idea of what that entails and is willing to meet the challenge.

Other District 8 Candidates:

District 9

District 9, we have 2 candidates for you to choose from.

Our picks:

Andy Levin

  • Democrat
  • Energy Consultant
  • Attorney

Andy feels that we are morally obligated to protect our planet, and we couldn’t agree more. He wants to see Line 5 stopped, Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes, and clean water, and not just for the lakes, but for the residents of Flint and other communities as well.

Because saving the environment is so intrinsically tied to our economy now, Andy wants to boost the economy by helping businesses and nonprofits retrofit their buildings to become more energy efficient and to use green energy options, like solar. He also wants to see the green technology market expand and reach its true potential. He knows Michigan has a lot to offer in that sector, and he is dedicated to developing it.

Ellen Lipton

  • Democrat
  • Ex-State Rep.
  • Attorney

Ellen is a biochemist, and she knows that climate change is one of the biggest problems of our time. She wants a healthy society and a healthy planet, and those things come from addressing the problems within our society that are perpetuating unhealthy practices and pollution.

Ellen has promised to support legislation that will reduce carbon pollution over the next few years. She wants to transition from fossil fuels to clean fuels and renewable energy resources (YAY). She has promised to support funding for green energy technology and will work on strengthening energy efficiency laws. She’s a strong opposer of fossil fuel subsidies and refuses to support offshore drilling or pipelines (including Line 5).

A cool fact about Ellen: She was named the Environmental Champion by the Sierra Club when she was a state legislator, and she’s a Clean Water Hero, as named by Clean Water Action. She’s promised to always vote and support initiatives that support a healthy environment and green future.

Other District 9 Candidates:

District 10

District 10, your candidates don’t have very well-developed platforms, so here’s your best green candidate:

Harley Mikkelson

  • Green
  • Retired State Employee
  • Vietnam War Veteran

Harley has a great platform on agribusiness. He wants to see some much-needed regulation brought to the pollution and inorganic fertilizers and pesticides used for big grain and animal businesses. He would also like to implement more stringent taxes on agricultural producers who use these methods anyway and use this revenue to support organic fertilizer for smaller farms.
Other than his stance on agribusiness, Harley doesn’t have much to say.

Other District 10 Candidates:

District 11

Two candidates for you, District 11!

Our picks:

Haley Stevens

  • Democrat
  • Ex-US Treasurer Dept. Official
  • Public Policy Analyst

We like a few things that Haley has to say about the environment. She is a strong opposer of the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and would push for America to rejoin the talks. She would oppose nominations in the EPA for leaders or corrupt officials that are not interested in keeping the environment clean but instead lobby for big corporations that want tax breaks. She has identified and would work against policies that undermine our clean air, water, and land acts. She wants to see America lead innovations in green energy and sustainability. She has personally worked on several initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, like Cash for Clunkers and the U.S. Auto Rescue. Haley has experience working with consumers and corporations to support investments in clean energy through tax programs and energy investments.

Suneel Gupta

  • Democrat
  • Technology Corporation CEO

Suneel has refused campaign money from fossil fuel industries, which is a good step. He’s a supporter of the Paris Climate Accord and supports America rejoining the talks. He knows that climate change is directly related to our economic strength, financial security, and our quality of life. Preserving our environment and switching to fossil fuels is a big step in ensuring that we can maintain all of these things. He would like to entrepreneurs working on greenhouse technology to have fewer barriers, monetary or otherwise, to increasing our innovations in the green energy sector. Suneel also supports tax incentives for companies that are going green and is pushing for better fuel economy and cars that emit less carbon.

Other District 11 Candidates:

District 12

Hey 12, your current representative isn’t bad. Here’s some info:

Our pick: Debbie Dingell – (Campaign Site)

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent since 2014

Debbie supports government regulation of greenhouse gases, which is a really good start. She wants to support and find new business models for clean and renewable energy sources. This is important to recognize at the federal level, as without federal endorsement, moving towards a cleaner planet and environment is many times harder. Debbie wants to see the budget for green energy research and development increase, and improve and advance the scope of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Electric vehicles are also on her to-do list.

She has expressed a desire to protect our environment and to keep our waters safe from invasive species and pollution. This is incredibly important, as Michigan relies on water for almost 1/5 of the job economy.

Other District 12 Candidates:

District 13

So 13, you have some funky things going on for your election. You have a special election due to your last Representative resigning, so the candidate elected in the special election will be in office for about two months before the elected official from the regular election will take office. Some of the candidates are running on both ballots, and some aren’t.

As of right now, your special election candidates don’t have much to say about green energy, so we’re heading straight to your candidates running in the general election primaries.

Special Election Candidates:
Regular Election (Full Term):

Our pick: Kimberly Knott Hill

  • Democrat
  • Environmental Activist
  • Policy Director
  • Ex-Congressional Aide

Kimberly’s goal for green energy in Congress is to make sure that the tax incentives for sustainable energy don’t expire in 2022 like they are set to. Since sustainable energy has created thousands of jobs and made energy more affordable, it’s imperative that people like Kimberly are in office when these incentives expire. She wants permanent funding for residential and commercial customers who invest and use green energy and would like to expand the tax credit initiatives on that front. And what’s great about Kimberly is that she isn’t just talking the talk! She led Detroit’s first Climate Action Plan and wants to continue this fight in Congress, making sure that environmental justice and mitigation & adaptation are at the forefront.

As far as environmental protections go, Kimberly would like to see the EPA close, not create, loopholes for major corporations that are polluting our air and water. She is a supporter of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, which have consistently brought America more jobs, a cleaner and more healthy living space, and preserved our resources for future generations. Kimberly is dedicated to public health through environmental health and economic growth through sustainable energy.

Other District 13 Candidates:

District 14

14, you have two candidates. Neither has well-spelled out platforms or records on green energy, so we’ll leave it up to you to decide based on other important issues who you will vote for.

Brenda Lawrence (D) – (Campaign Site) – incumbent since 2014 – Brenda shows support for clean energy initiatives, and votes accordingly, but there is not enough information about her platform to truly endorse her.

Marc Herschfus (R)

Categories: 2018 PrimaryStates

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