Central Michigan Life – GUEST COLUMN: The Road to the Future May Pass through Mount Pleasant


Automotive culture is an integral part of American life and is particularly important in Michigan manufacturing history.

Recent press releases indicate some of the changes on the near horizon. The Michigan Department of Transportation and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification have partnered to create a one-mile stretch of national highway that allows public transportation and private vehicles to recharge while traveling through the frame of the induction vehicle charging pilot project.

Ford has expanded its investments in electric vehicle battery recycling to strengthen its battery supply chain in the United States. Among American automakers, Ford is investing heavily in the future of electric vehicles, committing to an electric version of its best-selling F-150 pickup series, the Lightning (already more than 130,000 pre-orders) and his iconic Mustang, the electric Mustang, Mach E.

The opportunities for Michigan workers and businesses in electric vehicles and a wide range of renewable technologies seem obvious. I think Central Michigan University, Mid-Michigan College, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, City of Mount Pleasant, and the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce would work overtime to incorporate similar thinking into their planning.

What better way to encourage young graduates to stay and pursue a career in our city? Young people understand the need for clean energy solutions to protect their future. Meeting their aspirations in the Mid-Michigan area would mean they wouldn’t have to relocate to participate in a changing economy.

If you agree, consider discussing these options widely, politely, and persistently with your local leaders.

In Washington DC, critically important decisions are made and votes cast now that will impact your future for better or for worse, both short and long term. Since the physics of climate change doesn’t care what our policy is, and we’ve delayed for decades, these impacts will be much worse if effective solutions are not put in place now.

To participate in these historic decisions, ask your U.S. representative to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill in the U.S. Congress. They will merge federal resources with private initiatives.

Call on President Biden, Senator Stabenow and Senator Peters to include economy-wide carbon pricing with cash dividends to households in the reconciliation bill. The carbon royalty and dividend are the necessary market signal with built-in protection.

You can contact them at [email protected]; https://www.stabenow.senate.gov/contact; and https://www.peters.senate.gov/contact/email-gary. You can find your representative at https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative.

The road to the future can lead through Mount Pleasant to a cleaner, healthier country. It’s up to us to make sure.

Marie Koper has been the group leader of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby / Education section of Mount Pleasant for eight years. Locally, the chapter hosted the 2020 Central Michigan Climate Solutions Summit. Nationally, CCL is a non-partisan, not-for-profit group focused on legislation for climate solutions.

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