November 29, 2021

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Fit And Go Forward

Midlanders appointed to Michigan climate councils

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week announced appointments to the new Council on Climate Solutions.

“Since taking office, I have been focused on addressing the issues that are facing Michiganders. In the case of climate change, the science is clear. Climate change is directly impacting our public health, our environment, our economy, and our families,” Whitmer stated in a news release. “Back in September, I announced the MI Healthy Climate Plan, a comprehensive plan that will protect Michiganders’ public health and the environment and help develop new clean energy jobs by putting Michigan on a path towards becoming fully carbon-neutral by 2050. I fully believe that these appointees will help us fully implement the MI Healthy Climate Plan and will be laser-focused when it comes to combating the direct threat of climate change.”

In September, Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-182 creating the Council on Climate Solutions. The council acts in an advisory capacity to Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to formulate and oversee the implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan, which will serve as the action plan for this state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition toward economywide carbon neutrality.

The council will include EGLE Director Liesl Eichler Clark who will serve as chair, the directors of the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development, Labor and Economic Opportunity, Natural Resources, Transportation, and Health and Human Services, the chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission, the State Treasurer, and the CEO of MEDC, or their designees from within their respective departments and agencies.

“In Michigan, we know that climate solutions are mobility solutions and mobility solutions are climate solutions. As the state that put the world on wheels, what we do on climate matters,” said Eichler Clark. “Future generations of Michiganders are counting on us to get this right. Gov. Whitmer has included appointees to the Council on Climate Solutions that bring unique backgrounds and voices on these issues from across the board. Everyone should have a seat at the table as we work to combat climate change while protecting public health and supporting clean energy jobs.”

Whitmer has appointed 14 residents of this state who represent the range of sectors, experiences, and expertise relevant to this issue. They include Mary F. Draves, chief sustainability officer and vice president of environmental health and safety and sustainability for the Dow Chemical Company. She holds a bachelor of science in biology and a master of science in technological processes from Saginaw Valley State University. Draves is appointed for a term commencing Feb. 3, 2021 and expiring Feb. 3, 2022.

In addition to the appointed members, the council will establish liaisons to other related councils and advisory workgroups to assist in performing its duties and responsibilities. The individuals who will serve as council liaisons and chairs for the advisory workgroups include Midland’s Steven Holty, sustainability team leader with Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation. He holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and a master of business administration from Northwood University. Holty will serve as the co-chair of the Energy Intensive Industries Workgroup alongside the member from the member from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

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