What Future-Energy Looks Like in the U.P.
Play • 50 min

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers a fascinating microcosm for assessing the challenges and opportunities of a clean energy transformation. On the one hand, the U.P. seems ripe for rapid transition: Though many of the counties rank among the state’s lowest in individual income, people there pay some of the highest electricity rates in the entire nation—low-cost renewables could help. But on the other hand, a U.P. economy built on resource extraction and a strong sense of independence among the people leads to, if not an affinity for, at least an acceptance of fossil fuel solutions and a not-warm embrace of a big-government-driven transition to clean energy. Dr. Richelle Winkler, a social scientist at Michigan Tech, has studied this dynamic through her university work and through her involvement in influential energy studies, such as the Michigan Upper Peninsula Energy Task Force and the Michigan Community & Anishinaabe Renewable Energy Sovereignty (MICARES) project. In this episode of Speaking of Resilience, Dr. Winkler talks with Groundwork’s Jim Lively about what a clean energy transformation might look like in this remote and beautiful piece of America.

Speaking of Resilience is created by the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities and the Michigan Climate Action Network. This episode was produced by Taylor Cramer of Cold Shower Media in collaboration with Nick Loud of the Boardman Review, and hosted by Kate Madigan.

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