Bill Latka

  • Changing Our Energy Systems: A New Path Toward Sustainable Clean Energy

    Changing Our Energy Systems

    A climate-friendly energy system is necessary for our planet to address climate change.

    Climate change affects everyone; greenhouse gases must be cut to save the planet, and the obstacles to a climate-friendly energy system are huge. Expert Alain Godeau will explain how new technologies and better practices are stymied by outdated or counterproductive assumptions that are no longer justified. Godeau will outline the root causes of fluctuations in daily energy demand and assess the benefits and drawbacks of a centralized versus distributed power grid. He will also present his vision for a climate-friendly electric power system and obstacles to it.

    Godeau was president of Price Waterhouse Canada International and president of Strategic Governance Group International until his retirement in 2008. He was the lead partner in more than 30 European, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern countries.

    Former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell will moderate the event. Event sponsor: Grand Rapids Area Advocacy Team of the Climate Witness Project. Co-sponsors: Citizens Climate Lobby, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter.

    REGISTER at EventBrite

    January 26, 2021 at 7pm

  • published Upper Peninsula Energy Conference - Propane in Events 2021-01-18 12:25:12 -0500

    Upper Peninsula Energy Conference - Propane

    Upper Peninsula Clean Energy Conference Series

    Join in on the conversation that's moving Michigan's Upper Peninsula toward clean energy

    This installment of the conference series will feature a discussion about U.P. propane delivery Without Line 5.

    Start time TBA.

    February 12, 2021 at 5pm

  • published A Conversation with Naomi Klein in Events 2021-01-12 21:56:33 -0500

    A Conversation with Naomi Klein

    Naomi Klein

    Join the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) for a casual conversation with Naomi Klein that will touch upon the pivotal moment we are in as we work to address the climate crisis, fight for climate justice, and examine the detrimental impacts that colonialism and capitalism have had on our planet and society. What needs to happen to bring about transformative, systemic change at this critical time?

    Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, and best-selling author of On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, as well as the inaugural Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University.

    The 18th Peter M. Wege Lecture is a free event and open to the public.

    RSVP at Eventbrite

    March 10, 2021 at 7pm

  • Commentary: Distributed energy plays a critical role in Michigan’s carbon-neutral goal

    A new presidential administration in 2021 will change the policy landscape for states that are working toward realizing ambitious carbon neutrality goals.

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  • Commission Orders Judge to Reconsider Exclusion of Climate Change in Enbridge Line 5 Case in Light of Gov. Whitmer’s Line 5 Shutdown Order

    Reacting to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order to shut down the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, the Michigan Public Service Commission today ordered that Administrative Law Judge Dennis Mack re-hear arguments about the scope of environmental impacts that can be considered in the siting permit review of the related oil pipeline tunnel Enbridge proposes building beneath the Mackinac Straits.

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  • Michigan task force makeup suggests the future of transportation is still cars

    Environmental and public transit advocates are dismayed by their exclusion from a new council charged with shaping a vision for “future mobility” in the state.

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  • published Line 5 Shutdown - Thank Gov. Whitmer in Take Action 2020-11-16 14:52:41 -0500

    Line 5 Shutdown - Thank Gov. Whitmer

    Thank Governor WhitmerGovernor Whitmer, along with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Attorney General Dana Nessel, have revoked the easement that allowed Enbridge to operate Line 5 in the Great Lakes. This is historic. If ultimately successful, this would be the first time an operating pipeline has ever been shut down.

    It is rare that a politician has the guts to stand up to the most powerful industry on the planet. Please join us in thanking Governor Gretchen Whitmer for taking a politically risky stance on behalf of all Michiganders, and for doing what must be done to protect future generations.

    We'll send your name and comments as a thank you card.

    Governor Whitmer:

    Thank you so much for your audacious action for the Great Lakes, the climate, and the people of Michigan. Thank you for applying public trust law, listening to the science of climate change, and for hearing the thousands of dedicated citizens and organizations that worked to elevate this issue in a way that will protect our environment for generations to come.

    Thank you for taking the courageous steps to shut down Line 5!


  • published Why Vote? in Videos 2020-10-26 18:34:08 -0400

    Why Vote?

    Why don't people vote? It's not necessarily what you think.

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  • Michigan can’t wait until 2050 to reach zero emissions, environmentalists say

    A letter signed by representatives of 40 organizations says the state needs an accelerated timeline for phasing out carbon emissions.

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  • commented on Shut Down Line 5 2020-08-30 20:02:00 -0400
    William – The best independent data says that 95% of the product in Line 5 crosses Michigan and ends up in Canada. Until we ultimately transition away from the use of fossil fuels, the product that Michigan does use can be provided by other sources that don’t threaten the world’s greatest supply of fresh surface water.

  • published Speaking of Resilience Podcast in Learn 2020-07-22 12:43:46 -0400

    Speaking of Resilience Podcast

    Episode 14 - Gillian Giem
    Posted by · December 28, 2020 10:56 PM

    Episode 13 - Line 5 Easement Revoked
    Posted by · December 03, 2020 1:34 PM · 1 reaction

    Episode 12 - Charles Griffith
    Posted by · November 11, 2020 6:34 PM · 1 reaction

    See all posts

  • published Event Sponsors in 2020 Michigan Climate Action Summit 2020-01-08 18:37:51 -0500

  • donated 2019-07-17 12:21:55 -0400



    Children Protesting for Climate ActionMichigan Climate Action Network (MiCAN) is a group of organizations, businesses, and individuals that have come together to prevent the worst effects of a changing climate in Michigan. To us, there is nothing more important than working toward solutions that reduce greenhouse gases to promote a livable planet, protect our beautiful state, and allow us to participate in the coming clean energy economy.

    Payments are processed on behalf of MiCAN by Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities.

    Donate Online One-Time Here | Donate MonthlyDonate via Check Below 


  • published 2018 Annual Report in About MiCAN 2019-03-16 14:53:22 -0400

    2018 Annual Report


    2018 Annual Report

    Download the 2018 Annual Report

    Report Header

    This year brought a changing landscape and big opportunities for climate action in Michigan. Public concern has reached a point where a majority of Americans are now concerned about and support action on climate. The latest scientific research, including the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, is sounding the alarm about the need for major emissions cuts this decade to avoid the worst consequences. These reports and bold solutions in Congress are getting national media attention, and we are seeing more states, cities, and businesses working to decarbonize. We have also elected new leaders who are making the climate a priority, including Michigan’s new governor.

    We now have an important opportunity to act on climate in Michigan, and we have not a moment to lose as the impacts we are already seeing - from devastating wildfires in California, hurricanes in Florida and Puerto Rico, and life-threatening Polar vortex events in Michigan - will only continue to worsen.

    The Michigan Climate Action Network (MiCAN) was formed to put Michigan on a path to a stable and just climate through our three-pronged strategy to build a stronger and more connected climate movement in Michigan; support policies that advance clean energy solutions; and elevate climate change to be a top issue in the state. This report highlights our 2018 work toward these important goals.


    Growing the Climate Network - In 2018 MiCAN grew to a network of 50 organizations and businesses and 18,000 individuals who we reach each month. We added staff capacity this year by increasing the time of our Executive Director, our Communications Director, and by adding a half-time support staff person. We also created a larger and more diverse movement for climate action, partnering with many statewide climate and clean energy coalitions - like Oil & Water Don’t Mix, Empower Michigan, and the Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs coalition, and national networks including US Climate Action Network.

    People’s Climate Movement - MiCAN played a lead role in the People’s Climate Movement coalition in Michigan, developing a strong working relationship with one of the nation’s leading grassroots climate groups, and building stronger partnerships with tribes, environmental justice, youth, faith, and labor groups. Together we organized the MiCAN also helped organize the Line 5 Pipe Out Paddle Protest event in Mackinaw City led by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and we created a video promoting that event, which helped turn out over 300 people on a rainy day - three times the previous years’ attendance. Overall, we made valuable new partnerships and took important steps toward building a truly intersectional climate movement in Michigan. Watch the video of all the PCM events we participated in.

    Pipe Out Paddle Protest

    Press Conference

    Climate Summit – In late 2018 we began to organize the Michigan Climate Action Summit, the first statewide public gathering focused on climate action, which we held in February 2019 in Grand Rapids. The Summit brought together a crowd of 300 people, and featuring speakers including Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, U of M Dean and Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck, and Michigan EGLE Director Liesl Clark who told our crowd that Michigan’s new governor is with us on climate (watch her address). The event exceeded expectations, elevated climate and the need for action in our state, and helped to start moving forward a bold climate agenda for Michigan, the work we will continue in 2019.

    Liesl Clark at MiCAN Summit


    Climate in the Media - MiCAN generated dozens of stories on climate this year in newspapers, television news, and radio programs. Highlights include stories about the 100% clean energy goals in Midwest Energy News, and Michigan Public Radio, and two AP stories on clean energy that were picked up in newspapers nationwide. We also got four op-eds on climate and clean energy placed this year in Bridge Magazine and the Detroit Free Press, including one authored by Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers.

    Get Out the Climate Vote – MiCAN used our social media platform to encourage people to vote and used focused targeting to reach more young people. We created and shared a Get Out the Vote video that reached 60,000 people on Facebook and got 8,600 views on Twitter in the last few weeks before the election. We also launched a Pledge to Vote Climate website and social media campaign, and 1933 people signed the pledge. We then emailed and texted reminders to all of those people the day before Election Day and an additional 2,000 people. We shared many social media posts around election day reminding people to vote. While it is impossible to quantify how many people we got to the polls, we touched thousands of voters with these efforts.

    I'm Voting Video

    Climate candidate education – The 2018 election was an important opportunity to educate candidates about climate change. We developed a social media campaign encouraging MiCAN supporters to talk to candidates about climate, and helping turn out people to candidate events, including outside of the two Gubernatorial debates in October in Grand Rapids and Detroit. We developed a climate policy fact sheet and shared with the gubernatorial candidates and attorney general candidates between the primary and general elections. We also developed detailed climate policy recommendations that we shared with the Whitmer transition team after the election.

    Building the Biggest Social Media Platform - We have used cutting-edge strategies to build our social media presence to nearly 20,000 followers, giving MiCAN one of the largest social media audiences of any environmental group in Michigan. This is a powerful tool that allowed us to reach an average of 93,000 people per month over 2018 and more than 376,000 people in August alone. We found the four videos we created and shared were the most effective way to reach large numbers of people. Our short video about the TCLP 100% goal reached 250,000 through social media in just two weeks.

    MiCAN Social Media Metrics


    Passing 100% Clean Energy Goals - MiCAN led the effort that passed the first community-wide 100% clean energy goal in Michigan passed by Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP) in August. We led a coalition of activists, generated letters of support signed by more than 250 Traverse City residents, turned out more than a dozen people to make comment at TCLP meetings, and working with the Great Lakes Business Network and local allies we sent letters from local businesses in support. To encourage other communities to pass big clean energy goals we promoted this goal widely through social media and traditional media.

    We also were instrumental in getting the University of Michigan to pledge to be carbon neutral, which the university president announced in October.

    TCLP Ribbon Cutting

    This was the result of great advocacy work by many students, faculty, alumni, and Ann Arbor leaders, including MiCAN member organizations, a member of MiCAN’s steering committee, and a MiCAN Intern.

    Supporting Statewide Clean Energy Policy - We engaged our network behind key legislation and Public Service Commission (MPSC) rulings, generating over 300 comments on a letter to DTE Energy and the MPSC opposing its proposed natural gas plant.

    After years of MiCAN and many partner groups advocating for climate action and clean energy in Michigan, in 2018 the two largest utilities announced important steps toward clean energy. Consumers Energy and DTE Energy both agreed to increase renewables to 25% by 2025 plus an increase of 25% in energy efficiency, and both announced plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2040 and 2050 respectively. While there is much to be done to shore up these commitments and get coal plants to retire earlier, this is important progress.

    2019 GOALS

    MiCAN is proud of the work we did in 2018, and this progress would not have been possible without the participation of our members and the financial support of our donors. Our new partnerships, increased capacity, the splash we made at the Climate Summit, and the new pro-climate administration in Michigan sets us up for more climate wins in 2019.

    We are at an inflection point on climate in many ways. We know that this decade is so critical, and we know the policies that are possible to move our state to be a clean energy and climate leader. We intend to seize this moment and settle for nothing less.

    Handshake at 2019 Michigan Climate Action Summit

  • Liesel Clark Addresses the 2019 Michigan Climate Action Summit

    Liesl Clark is the Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality - soon to become The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

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  • published TC Rise Reporting Video in Videos 2019-02-08 15:12:56 -0500

    TC Rise Reporting Video

    MiCAN was a key partner in the clean energy work done by Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities.

    Read more

Producing & directing TV shows, commercials, videos, but mostly trying to make things on this planet better for you and me.
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