Opinion: Climate legislation would boost Michigan’s economy | Opinion

With over 11,000 lakes and 23 million acres of forest, Michigan has a breathtaking environment. Our outdoor recreation industry provides more than 230,000 jobs and generates $30 billion a year for the people of Michigan. Our environment is a component of our economic well-being.

Environmental concerns are central to Michigan’s future prosperity, and they matter to the nation. Outdoor recreation generates nearly $700 billion in economic activity and provides 4.3 million jobs. Extreme weather – which is intensifying thanks to climate change – is putting those jobs and well-paying incomes at risk.

Failure to address climate change could cost our nation’s economy more than $14.5 trillion over the next 50 years, wiping out 4% of our GDP and destroying nearly 900,000 jobs a year, report says of 2022 from the Deloitte Economics Institute. The report also found that decarbonizing the US economy would add $3 trillion and over a million jobs over that same 50-year period.

Today is not about jobs versus the environment; we can choose both.

By moving to a clean energy economy, we would make our economy stronger by creating more jobs while avoiding the job losses caused by extreme climate change.

I focus on ensuring that Ingham County helps foster a sustainable future. We reactivated our Environmental Affairs Committee, introduced the resolution setting our goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2040, and launched an energy and greenhouse gas emissions audit at county facilities.

The audit will help ensure our operations are efficient and county resources are allocated effectively as we seek to minimize our impact on the environment.

No country or state can tackle the problem of climate change alone. At the end of 2021, the United States House of Representatives adopted a comprehensive solution as part of the Build Back Better plan. The clean economy plan, though including investments in clean energy and climate change mitigation, languishes in the US Senate.

My constituents are my friends and neighbors. If a flood destroyed homes in my neighborhood, I would know many of those affected. I urge the Senate to pass this climate and clean energy legislation. It would improve the lives of my constituents and their families in our state and our nation.

Last year, President Biden signed into law the bipartisan infrastructure bill, creating new funding for climate change mitigation. This program financed the repair of infrastructure damaged by extreme weather conditions.

If we are to transform into a clean energy economy and avoid the devastating financial effects of climate change, the Senate must pass this comprehensive climate legislation.

The proposed legislation contains key environmental provisions, including funding for the transition to electric transport and incentives for the deployment, manufacture and innovation of clean electricity. This will help end our dependence on fossil fuels, increase our energy security and ease the pain of high gasoline prices.

This summer is probably our last chance to push this through Congress and save ourselves from the devastating effects of climate change.

The cost of climate inaction is too high. Decarbonizing our energy is a win-win situation for our environment, our economy, and American workers. We need to use fiscal reconciliation to get this bill through the Senate so we can work to build a clean energy economy.

About the Author: Chris Trubac is Ingham County Commissioner and Chairman of the County Environmental Affairs Commission.

About the Author: Chris Trubac is Ingham County Commissioner and Chairman of the County Environmental Affairs Commission.