State of the Air: MICHIGAN

Kelly NicholsContact Kelly Nichols at to learn more or volunteer.

Kelly has 4-year-old twins, and an Australian husband. She grew up roaming the woods of mid-coast Maine and Northern Minnesota before she found herself involved in theatre and stand-up comedy in New York City. The youngest of two girls, her parents instilled a solid love of nature in her growing up, and her favorite thing is to spend time by the waters of Lake Michigan, in her garden, or on a forest preserve in her current home in Highland Park, Illinois. She is excited to be working to make the air of Illinois cleaner, and create a better planet for all of us!


Follow @CleanAirMoms_MI on Twitter

Join us on Facebook





Here’s what we’re working on in Michigan:

Moms Clean Air Force started organizing in Michigan in January 2012. In Michigan, we bring attention to issues and policies that impact clean air, climate change and children’s health.  We fight for a world free of harmful chemicals in our air, water and food, so children can grow up healthy with every opportunity to thrive.  We educate and activate moms and their families to work with local, state and federal leaders to advance clean air policies and climate solutions.  We are building a community of moms who care by meeting with elected officials, organizing and attending local events, speaking at community meetings and press conferences, and serving as a media resource on behalf of our children’s and community’s health.  By collectively speaking out against air pollution and climate change, we are creating a powerful force in Michigan that is rooted in the love we have for our children.

Michigan has one of the most polluted zip codes in the country: 48217. That area of Detroit is nestled between superhighway I-75 and some of Michigan’s largest industrial plants. Pulmonary and other respiratory and cardiovascular issues have plagued residents in that area for decades. Moms Clean Air Force has been working with community and health organizations in the area to bring attention to this issue and to address the environmental injustice this neighborhood has been dealing with for so long.

Michigan is also one of the Great Lakes states. Those gorgeous bodies of water are among our state’s main attractions and a point of pride for Michiganders. However, due to mercury contamination, fishers and anglers are not able to enjoy the lakes to the fullest. Because of pollution from coal-fired power plants, multiple fish advisories annually warn against consuming the polluted fish in our region.

Moms Clean Air Force educates our lawmakers on the importance of expanding and strengthening our current renewable energy portfolio. Michigan gets more than half of its electricity from burning coal. Michigan’s coal plants emit dangerous levels of mercury, sulfur dioxide and arsenic, which are linked to heart disease, childhood asthma, lung disease and premature death. Pollution from Michigan’s nine oldest coal-fired power plants has been linked to 68,000 cases of asthma attacks and 180 premature deaths each year in our state, costing us over $1.5 billion per year in excess healthcare costs.

Please join us in this fight for cleaner air and climate solutions in Michigan.

Moms Clean Air Force Programs in Michigan

Our Moms & Mayors program connects moms with their mayors and local leaders to improve children’s health and build resilient communities.  We educate, empower and mobilize Moms in their hometowns to work with their local elected leaders to implement clean air strategies, reduce toxins in the community and take action on climate change.   We also train Moms to join boards and commissions and urge them to run for office.

Our Baby Power program educates and engages expectant and new moms on our issues with the message:  every baby has the power to make you want to change the world.

In addition to state-specific work, Moms Clean Air Force Michigan is supporting national campaigns:

Stopping the Rollbacks of Environmental Protections:  We are working hard to oppose the assaults on our bedrock environmental laws by the Trump Administration and the EPA Administrator, including:

  • Climate Change: We are fighting the Trump Administration’s attempt to repeal America’s Clean Power Plan that sought to reduce carbon emissions, decrease dangerous co-pollutants, and achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Accord.
  • Smog: We are opposing the Trump Administration’s EPA proposal to weaken national smog standards.
  • Clean Cars: We are opposing the Trump Administration’s attempt to roll back sensible fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. The current clean car standards would prevent 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution by 2025 and save American families $1.7 trillion in fuel costs.
  • Mercury: We are opposing the attempt by the Trump Administration to loosen regulations that reduce the harmful mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.
  • Chemical Policy Reform: We are fighting to implement the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act (2016) that keeps toxic chemicals out of the products we use every day.
  • Natural Gas Pollution: We are opposing the Trump Administration’s attempt to roll back Federal methane rules for new sources, weakening the limits on the amount of methane pollution that the oil and gas industry is allowed to vent, leak and burn. We are demanding strong protections from methane, volatile organic compounds, and other harmful air pollutants associated with fracking and natural gas development.
  • EPA Budget: We are fighting to ensure the EPA budget is fully funded, opposing the Trump Administration’s proposal to gut its budget by more than 25%.

Fighting to Make Climate Progress:

  • Clean Energy: We are working to build support at the local, state and federal level to ensure that our energy future is renewable, clean, and healthy — for the sake of our children’s health.
  • Tell Your Governor: Take the Lead on Climate Action:  With America’s departure from the historic Paris Climate Agreement, the responsibility for climate action now falls on others: States, municipalities, businesses, universities and communities. With the federal government surrendering its chance to lead on climate action, our states must be as aggressive as possible in the effort to thwart global warming and protect the health of our children. Let your governor know that you demand climate action and you need them to take the lead.

Michigan’s electricity generation by source, 2017:

  • Coal (39%)

  • Nuclear (30%)

  • Natural Gas (21%)

  • Wind(5%)

  • Other (7%)

According to the American Lung Association’s 2018 State of the Air report, St. Clair County, Michigan reported 18 code orange high ozone days

1 of the top 25 polluting coal-fired power plants in the nation is located in Michigan

The monetized value of diesel fine particle health impacts in 2005 for the state of Michigan totaled 3.4 billion dollars.

Michigan ranks 5th in the nation for premature deaths, hospital admissions and heart attacks attributed to coal-fired power plant particulate pollution

Michiganders spend more than 1.3 billion dollars a year on health care costs related to the air quality impacts of coal pollution

In 2005, 68,000 asthma attacks and 180 premature deaths were directly linked to coal fired power plant pollution in Michigan

Nearly 9% of Michigan children suffer from asthma

Good News! Newly-Elected Attorneys General Are Committed to Children’s Health

BY Moms Clean Air Force ON January 25, 2019
This post was written by Ben Levitan with EDF Legal Fellow Lance Bowman. It originally posted on Climate 411: Looking for some good news to start the year? Right now, there are new state Attorneys General taking office across the country who have committed to protecting public...

TOPICS: Children's Health, Colorado, Environment, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Politics, Vermont, Wisconsin

Women Were the Story of the 2018 Midterms

BY Moms Clean Air Force ON November 13, 2018
This was written by Felice Stadler, Campaigns Director fo Clean Air Moms Action: The 2018 election saw a record number of women running for office and winning, changing local, state, and federal legislatures for the better by running on thoughtful platforms and transforming governing bodies to become...

TOPICS: Activism, California, Climate Change, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Politics, Social Justice, Texas

Great News! Major Wins for Climate Safety.

BY Dominique Browning ON November 7, 2018
Is the glass half full, or half empty? That’s what I found myself wondering all morning (and well into last night) as I followed election results. I’m going with half full — more than half full, in fact. Don’t believe the pundits who tell us...

TOPICS: Activism, Children's Health, Clean Air Rules and Regulations, Climate Change, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Politics, Wisconsin

Climate Change Increases Wildfires: Find Out How Your Region Is Affected

BY Moms Clean Air Force ON July 27, 2018
This wildfire resource is from Climate Signals: Climate change has increased the risk of wildfires through warmer temperatures and drier conditions that lengthen wildfire season, increase the chances of a fire starting, and help a burning fire spread. Warmer and drier conditions also contribute to...

TOPICS: Air Pollution, Alaska, California, Children's Health, Climate Change, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Great Lakes, Heat and Extreme Weather, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New England, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Science, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, Washington State, Wisconsin, Wyoming

More Michigan posts

field manager, vee heymach, speaks at a michigan press conference





Upcoming Events

Past Events

July 2017:

Moms Clean Air Force Michigan members attended the 2017 Play-In for Climate Action in Washington, DC.

January 2017:

Moms Clean Air Force Michigan members traveled to Washington, DC to meet with their Senators and urge them to oppose the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head EPA.

December 2016:

On Wednesday, December 21 Moms Clean Air Force and its colleagues hosted a media teleconference to urge Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters to vigorously oppose the confirmation of Scott Pruitt to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt has a long track record of opposition to clean air protections that safeguard families’ health, including his participation in multiple lawsuits meant to dismantle EPA clean air protections.

Kelly Nichols of Moms Clean Air Force says, “Pruitt’s entire career has demonstrated that he’ll pick big corporations over the health of our children. We can’t afford to put our children’s’ health at risk by dismantling protections that ensure we have healthy air to breathe.”

“Without strong clean air protections, the health of Michiganders will be put at risk from dangerous pollution spewed by coal-fired power plants,” said Mara Herman, health outreach coordinator with the Ecology Center.

They were joined by Kindra Weid, coalition coordinator of MI Air MI Health. “Michigan’s asthma rates are significantly higher than the national average, which is why we need an EPA administrator who is committed to protecting our air, not big polluters. Unfortunately, Scott Pruitt will be in a position to dismantle and delay progress across the nation. He’s the wrong choice to serve as EPA Administrator, and we urge our U.S. Senators to stand up against his confirmation.”

May 2015: Mama Summit 2015 | Moms Clean Air Force Michigan members gathered at the state capitol in Lansing to call on elected officials to take action on climate change. A diverse group of 80 participants met with more than 20 lawmakers and their staff in Michigan. Reverend Yvette Griffin, who tragically lost her granddaughter to asthma last year, spoke alongside a state senator, a rabbi, an asthma educator, and a supermom about how air pollution from coal plants harms our children.

May 2014: Mama Summit 2014 | Moms Clean Air Force Michigan members gathered at the state capitol in Lansing to call on elected officials to take action on climate change.

March 2014: More than 450 postcards from Michiganders in support of EPA’s proposed standards to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants were delivered to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.



Rick Snyder

Contact information:

US Senate

Gary Peters

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

Debbie Stabenow

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

US House of Representatives

Jack Bergman (District 1)

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

Bill Huizenga (District 2)

Contact information:

  • 1 South Harbor Ave. Suite 6B,
    Grand Haven, MI 49417
  • Email: Contact form
  • Phone: (616) 414-5516
  • Twitter: @RepHuizenga

Environmental Scorecard

Justin Amash (District 3)

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

John Moolenaar (District 4)

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

Dan Kildee (District 5)

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

Fred Upton (District 6)

Contact information:

  • 157 South Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 180
    Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • Email: Contact form
  • Phone: (269) 385-0039
  • Twitter: @RepFredUpton

Environmental Scorecard

Tim Walberg (District 7)

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

Mike Bishop (District 8)

  • 1000 West St. Joseph, Suite 300
  • Lansing, MI 48915
  • Email: Contact form
  • Phone: (517) 702-8000
  • Twitter: @HouseGOP

Environmental Scorecard

Sandy Levin (District 9)

Environmental Scorecard

Paul Mitchell (District 10)

Environmental Scorecard

Dave Trott (District 11)

  • 625 Big Beaver Road, Suite 204
  • Troy, MI 48083
  • Email: Contact form
  • Phone: (202) 225-8171
  • Twitter: @HouseGOP

Environmental Scorecard

Debbie Dingell (District 12)

Environmental Scorecard

District 13 – Vacant 

Brenda Lawrence (District 14)

Environmental Scorecard

Take a look at what we’ve been up to in Michigan: