GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - February 22 - Standing with Mayor Heartwell
of Grand Rapids in a Green Building, Environment
Michigan Research & Policy Center
released an in-depth study showing how clean energy can help revitalize
Michigan’s economy. According to an innovative peer-reviewed model
in Energizing Michigan’s Economy: Creating Jobs, Reducing Pollution
Efficiency and Renewable Electric Power, strong commitments to
energy and energy efficiency would generate at least the following
“Now is the time for Michigan
to take bold steps towards becoming the epicenter of clean energy development,”
said Mike Shriberg, Director of
Environment Michigan and co-author of the report. “Doing so will reinvigorate our economy,
create the jobs of today and tomorrow, save consumers money, and protect our
Two core policies are needed to achieve these benefits: 1) A
Renewable Energy Standard that requires 20% of the state’s electricity to come from
renewable sources by 2020; 2) An Energy Efficiency Fund of $225 million per
year. Implementing these policies would eliminate
the need for new power plant construction, thus saving ratepayers billions in
rate increases and reducing the $20 billion per year that Michiganders spend on
“Michiganders are sending the equivalent of $1,700 per
person to other states to meet our energy needs,” said Kim Pargoff, Clean
Energy Advocate with Environment Michigan.
“With energy efficiency and renewables, we keep our hard-earned money
working for Michigan
while reducing pollution.”
economy in crisis and our energy path at a crossroads, the Governor and
Legislature are debating an overhaul of energy policy that will have major implications
for ratepayers and public health. The
report directly compares the Granholm-ordered 21st Century Energy
Plan with a strong commitment to clean energy.
The results show that the 21st Century Energy Plan would
bring in only 1/3 as many jobs and approximately half the consumer savings of
strong policies because of its tepid recommendations on clean energy.
“A bold, clean electricity plan will energize Michigan’s economy”,
stated David Pettit, Consumer Associate
for Public Interest Research Group in Michigan.
“The first step in that plan is to
invest in the cheapest and cleanest resource available – energy efficiency.”
As the report highlights, Michigan
is uniquely positioned to become a global leader in clean energy research and
development, and high-tech manufacturing because of its unparalleled industrial
has a once-in-a-generation chance to change course – from old and dirty fossil
fuel-based energy to a more efficient economy powered by renewable energy,”
concluded Shriberg. “The key is strong, visionary
commitments from our leaders."
Click here for a complete copy of the report.