Michigan Outshines 48 States in Fight for Federal Clean Energy Funding

By Kyle Kaminski

October 5, 2023

Legislation signed by President Joe Biden has unleashed billions of dollars in federal investments in communities across the US. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is making sure that Michiganders get more than their ‘fair share’ of those funds. 

MICHIGAN—Michigan is punching well above its weight to secure more federal climate funding than nearly every other state in the nation following the passage of President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

According to a new study from Atlas Policy, Michigan has collected more than $1.3 billion in federal funding to support at least 99 projects related to infrastructure and clean energy projects since the two laws were signed—more than any other US state or territory except California. 

So far, Whitmer’s administration has been using the cash to entice clean energy companies to set up shop in Michigan, build up the workforce, and bring more manufacturing supply chains into the state. The federal cash is also fixing roads and bridges, replacing lead service lines, expanding high-speed internet, building electric vehicle charging networks, and much more.

In a statement, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the fight for more federal funds is far from finished.

“We are fixing the damn roads, replacing lead pipes, and building more electric vehicle chargers with funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. We’re making more clean, reliable energy right here in Michigan and lowering utility bills and home repair costs for consumers with the Inflation Reduction Act,” Whitmer said. “Let’s keep competing and winning against other states and nations to bring jobs and investments back and build a brighter future for Michigan.”

Here’s the Deal:

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, combined, earmarked hundreds of billions of dollars in climate-related funding and clean energy tax credits.

At the end of August, about $25.2 billion of that federal cash had been doled out to support nearly 3,200 projects nationwide. And Michigan—having secured about 5% of that total—came in as one of the nation’s largest breadwinners with a total of about $1.3 billion in federal cash.

“These dollars touch the lives of all Michiganders—from programs to lower energy bills with energy efficiency upgrades to investments to reduce outages with grid enhancements,” added Phil Roos, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

READ MORE: Whitmer Reels in More Jobs as Big-Name Companies Rush to Michigan

All told, Michigan has collected about $128 in federal funding for every resident in the state—well above the average nationwide per-capita of $75 tracked in the recent analysis. 

Michigan in the Fast Lane

Another recent report from Climate Power also found that Michigan has tracked the greatest number of clean energy projects in the country with more than $21 billion in investments announced between Aug. 16, 2022 and July 20, 2023 as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act.

These projects reportedly include Ford Motor Company’s plans for the Blue Oval Battery Park in Marshall, Our Next Energy’s new battery cell manufacturing plant in Van Buren Township, and a new Polar Racking manufacturing facility that produces equipment for mounting solar panels.

As a result, Michigan is now also leading the country in a clean energy jobs boom with at least 15,800 new jobs announced within the state over the past year, according to the report. And over the next decade, Michigan is projected to create another 167,000 clean energy jobs.

In a review of clean energy jobs by congressional districts, five Michigan districts also ranked among the 20 districts with the most new clean energy jobs—including Michigan’s 7th Congressional District in Mid-Michigan, represented by the US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing). 

The report further names Michigan as one of three states poised to “dominate” electric vehicle battery manufacturing in the US over the next several years.

Last year, Whitmer formed the Michigan Infrastructure Office (and hired Chief Infrastructure Officer Zachary Kolodin) to help drive more federal infrastructure funding into Michigan. And this year, she earmarked $337 million for the new “Make it in Michigan Competitiveness Fund,” which was designed exclusively to help unlock additional federal investments for Michigan.

READ MORE: Meet the Man Cashing Michigan’s Ticket to Fix the Damn State

“Michigan is on the move,” Kolodin said in a statement this week. “We understand that the key to a brighter future lies in the foundation we build today, and the infrastructure investments Michigan is making will ensure our communities stand the test of time.”

Make it in Michigan

This summer, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also unveiled a new economic development strategy, aptly titled “Make it in Michigan,” which aims to entice more businesses to set up shop in Michigan, create new jobs, and ultimately make the state more appealing to young families.

The basic idea, she said, was for the state to “keep its foot on the accelerator” by enticing more companies to expand operations in Michigan—in turn, bringing more manufacturing and supply chains home, and making the state a “more attractive place to live, work and invest.”

State officials have also submitted a letter of intent to apply for federal funding through the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund—the largest pot of federal funding to support clean energy projects, outside of the tax credits provided in the Inflation Reduction Act. That funding is set to be distributed next year. Most states also intend to apply for some of the federal money.

READ MORE: Whitmer Plan Invests in Michiganders—and Could Pay Big Dividends

For the latest Michigan news, follow The ‘Gander on Twitter.

Follow Political Correspondent Kyle Kaminski here.

Author

  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Politics

MI Grand Rapids Food Voting

Local News

Related Stories
Share This