October 14, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: Michigan Sierra Club Launches Online Political Advertising Campaign

October 14, 2016

Mike Berkowitz

Michigan Sierra Club Launches Online Political Advertising Campaign
Nation’s Largest Grassroots Conservation Organization to Target State Legislative and Countywide Races

LANSING, MI  - Today, the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club launched an online political advertising campaign in support of thirteen candidates for the Michigan Legislature and countywide offices.  The campaign includes a series of videos featuring Sierra Club Michigan Chapter activists highlighting the state’s most pressing environmental issues and calling for new leadership in Lansing.

The ads target ten state legislative districts supporting Darrin Camilleri (House District 23), Dana Camphous-Peterson (House District 24), Mike Notte (House District 30), Michael Stack (House District 39), Tom Redmond (House District 56), Annie Brown (House District 66), Collene Lamonte (House District 91), Bryan Mielke (House District 99), Dan Scripps (House District 101) and Robert Kennedy (House District 106). Three additional ads target countywide races supporting Rachel Hood (Kent County Drain Commissioner), Vicki Barnett (Oakland County Executive), and John Taylor (Kalamazoo County Clerk).

“We are using online capabilities to reach environmental supporters with a message letting them know which candidates support protecting our Great Lakes in Michigan’s most competitive races,” said Mike Berkowitz, Political Director of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “This election will have long-lasting implications for Michigan’s environment and our Great Lakes. We are committed to electing candidates who will stand up for clean air, clean water, and clean energy.”

To see a full list of the Michigan Sierra Club’s endorsements, click here.

About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide, and over 80,000 in Michigan. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit

Paid for by Michigan Sierra PAC (109 E. Grand River Ave. Lansing, MI 48906)


October 5, 2016

Reps. Roberts and Irwin Propose Stronger Fracking Laws

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016

Contact: Rep. Sarah Roberts
Phone: (517)-373-1180           
Contact: Rep. Jeff Irwin        
Phone: (734)-834-7152           

Bills would protect air, water and soil from fracking waste

LANSING — State Representatives Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores) and Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) have announced a six-bill package of legislation to address threats to Michigan’s land, air and water as a result of fracking. Together, these bills address gaps in Michigan laws regarding the disposal of fracking waste and the leakage of methane at drilling sites.
“Other states are seeing fracking operations that dump waste, pollute the air and water, and are possibly causing earthquakes,” said Rep. Roberts. “In Michigan, we need to update our oil and gas laws to ensure we protect our environment and the public’s health.”
“Disposing of fracking waste is one of the biggest threats to our water,” said Nic Clark of Clean Water Action. “These bills protect water quality by prohibiting any dumping in groundwater aquifers and by enacting strict standards for radioactive fracking waste.”
The bills in the package would:
·        Ban radioactive fracking waste from landfills if the radioactivity exceeds strict limits
·        Require that water used in the fracking process be in compliance with state guidelines and be cleaned up before disposal
·        Ban fracking operations from injecting fracking wastes or water into an aquifer
·        Require oil and gas well operators to use methane recapture systems to reduce methane released by 99 percent
·        Prohibit oil and gas wells from burning off (flaring) methane emissions
·        Require oil and gas well operators to set up a system to check for leaks of dangerous gases on a regular basis and promptly repair any leaks found.
“Michigan is planning to meet the requirements of the Clean Power Plan by switching from coal to natural gas and renewable energy sources,” said Mike Berkowitz of the Sierra Club. “But methane released from the extraction of gas and oil is 20 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide, so we need to ensure gas isn’t leaking from sloppily drilled wells.”
“Michigan deserves solid rules to protect water quality and prevent wasteful or careless drilling practices,” said Rep. Irwin. “Preventing methane leaks is important to combat climate change, and it also ensures that oil and gas drillers are running professional operations that are respectful of our air and water.”
For more information about fracking, the bills in the package or to sign a petition supporting the legislation, go to