[Photo of Jason Hayes]

Jason Hayes

Director of Environmental Policy

Jason Hayes is the director of Environmental Policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Located in Midland, Michigan, and founded in 1987, the Mackinac Center is a nonpartisan research and educational institute that is dedicated to advancing liberty and opportunity for all people through research and education.

The Environmental Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center focuses on improving the lives of Michigan’s residents by first working to understand Michigan’s unique natural features, and then promoting policies that will balance the state’s environmental health and economic vigor.

Jason has spent almost three decades studying and working in environmental and energy policy. He worked as a backcountry ranger in British Columbia’s provincial parks, as a forester in British Columbia’s boreal forest, and researched National Parks management and grizzly bear biology with the Fraser Institute in Calgary, Alberta. He spent over a decade researching and communicating energy and environmental policy with the Canadian and American energy industry. In July 2016, Jason moved to the Mackinac Center to head up its Environmental Policy Initiative.

Jason holds a Master of Environmental Design (Environmental Science) degree from the University of Calgary, a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Conservation from the University of British Columbia and a Technical Diploma in Renewable Resource Management from Selkirk College.

Jason also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Northwood University, teaching Environmental Science, and as a policy advisor to the Heartland Institute on issues of energy and environmental policy. He lives in Midland, MI with his wife and children.

Michigan made better choices on forest management

Good Neighbor Authority has proven to be a good choice … more

Striking a Balance on Environmental Regulations

“No more stringent” will benefit Michigan … more

Collaborative Management Can Balance Competing Interests for Federal Lands in Michigan

How to Collaboratively Manage Michigan’s Federal Lands

Study shows the benefits for public and private land owners … more

Let Markets and Innovation Drive Energy Efficiency

It matters how we get there … more

Unreasonable Demands Stifle Real Environmental Progress

Proposed SAFE Vehicle Rule balances environment, technology, and economics … more

Thirty Years of Climate Concerns

Is One Subsidy Really Any Better?

True Story

Is One Subsidy Really Any Better?

Subsidies do have a destabilizing market influence … more

Michigan’s Convoluted Electricity System Leads to Strife and Strain

Legislature considers a deal for Hemlock Semiconductor and Consumers Energy … more

Solar Subsidies Are More than 'Fair'

Those selling a wholesale product should be paid the wholesale price … more

No More Additional Favors for Solar

Property taxes should tax the value of property, including solar panels … more

Net Metering Decision Raises Hackles of Solar Supporters

'Avoided cost' rate will impact Michigan’s interest in residential solar … more

Impacting Michigan’s Environmental Policy

Michigan Is Not a Windy State

The true cost of wind in Michigan is beginning to become clear … more


Extreme Cold Highlights Our Need for Better Energy Options

Renewable Energy is Not Cheaper After All

Popular measurement of renewable energy's cost ignores its unpredictable nature … more

We Don’t Do Party Politics

Tipping the Scales on Solar

Mackinac Center signs open letter on trade restrictions … more

Allow Competition in Infrastructure Upgrades

Expanded choice and reduced prices good for everyone … more

EPA Administrator Pruitt to 'Unravel' Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan

Federal actions are unlikely to change Michigan’s course … more

Public Service Commission actions threaten electric choice in Michigan

MPSC intends to restrict access to out-of-state markets … more

Cutting Federal Great Lakes Funding Would Not Be an Environmental and Economic Crisis

Change In Regulations On Electricity Markets Could Hit Schools

State of Michigan’s Great Lakes Invasive Carp Challenge

Crowdsourcing the state’s carp strategy … more

Anti-Pipeline Groups Refuse to Accept Test Results

Paris Was a Bad Deal for the US

Greens agreed with Trump on Paris before he pulled out … more

The Double Standard in Environmental Protection: A Reprise

Delving further into sewage system failures … more

The Risks and Rewards of Line 5 and Fossil Fuels

Do Renewables Really Make Economic Sense?

Let’s find out by letting them compete in a free market … more

Congressional Science Spending Largely Untouched

Federal spending bill lets the air out of protestor’s tires … more

False Assertions Abound about Green Energy Program

Will DTE support true consumer choice in electricity? … more

Out, Out, Brief Candle!

Could Mr. Trump’s “Energy Independence” executive order mean the end of life on Earth? … more

Fueling our Economy by Digging with Spoons

The Value of Pipelines (and Line 5) to Michigan

Testimony from the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board … more

HONEST Act – EPA Science and Transparency

This should be ‘science 101’ … more

Environmental Policy Initiative

Guiding Principles … more

Michigan Pays for Fudged Climate Data

Fake news, meet settled science … more

Michigan Lame-Duck Energy Policy

The Pruitt EPA Nomination

When worldviews clash … more

2016 Michigan Energy Roundup: Renewable Energy

Final post in a series analyzing changes to Michigan's utility laws … more

Clean Michigan Initiative Not the Only Remediation Fund

Other sources for environmental clean-up eliminate need for further debt … more

Protecting Electricity Choice

2016 Michigan Energy Roundup … more

2016 Michigan Energy Roundup: Legislature Writes Obama Utility Scheme Into Michigan Law

A quick summary of new energy regulations … more

Trump’s Election Could Change Michigan’s Electricity Outlook

Lawmakers should pause plans to end electricity choice … more

Don’t Impose Granholm-era Mandates on Michigan Energy

With new federal regulations likely, legislators should wait on energy reform … more

Policy Experts Available to Discuss Key Lame Duck Bills

Mackinac Center analysts offer insights on ridesharing, pension, energy and economic development bills … more