How to Resist DTE Energy: Valeriya writes on the recent Climate Strike Coalition action

On Wednesday, February 12th, the Climate Strike Coalition held a performative direct action in front of DTE Energy’s headquarters. Click here to watch a 15-minute video of the short play, which cast a satirical, Valentine’s Day-themed light on DTE’s terrible business practices and disastrous 15-year Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The video does not have subtitles, but you can email [email protected] to access a large-font copy of the script.

This action was in solidarity with the Work4MeDTE Campaign (W4MDTE), which is working towards health, affordability, and democracy in Detroit and throughout southeast Michigan. For a report card that details why DTE’s proposed IRP is bad news, click here. The IRP is DTE’s blueprint for energy generation for the next 15 years, and the related spending, or wasting, of our money and the poisoning of our communities that they’re plotting. To see some of the stories of folks at the frontlines of the energy crisis, click here

Recently, the Governor-appointed members of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) sent DTE back to the drawing board with its IRP. This is thanks to the rigorous organizing of W4MDTE. “Neither DTE nor the Commission expected thousands of us to demand rejection of DTE’s plan," said Bridget Vial of the Work for Me DTE Campaign. “The Commission’s rejection of huge chunks of the plan shows we have power when we organize – in this case, for affordable, healthy, community-based wind and solar energy. That said, the Commission's failure to wholesale reject the plan motivates us to keep up the fight. DTE is a bully corporation trying to pay huge executive bonuses on the backs of hard-working families, and the Commission only slapped them on the wrist. If a bully only takes half your lunch money, does that make them not a bully? Energy regulators like the MPSC must demand truly affordable energy, and 100% renewable energy in ten years."


Here’s what you can do to resist the bully:

  • If you belong to an organization that is interested in joining the W4MDTE coalition, email [email protected]
  • Study the issue. You can find resources here
  • Talk to your community and submit public comments to the MPSC. DTE’s IRP will sabotage our region’s chance of climate resilience. Folks need to know the stakes and express their outrage. Submit public comments here

Want to plug in more? Reach out to me! I’m DJJ’s Environmental Justice liaison. You can email me at [email protected] Right now the W4MDTE campaign is in an absorption stage where your skills are wanted! Whether you’re an artist, fundraiser, canvasser, lobbyist, attorney, chef, all of these things, none of these things, or whatever, you can be utilized! 


Valeriya Epshteyn is an organizer and fundraiser living in Detroit. She is currently working as Oakland County organizer at the ACLU of Michigan with their Smart Justice campaign, a nationwide effort to cut incarceration in half. Valeriya is committed to wealth redistribution, growing and fermenting food, and decoupling criticism of Israel and accusations of anti-Semitism.

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