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PRESS RELEASE: Business, labor voices call for more renewable energy, energy efficiency at governor’s forum at Western

March 18, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 18, 2013 

Business, labor voices call for more renewable energy, energy efficiency at governor’s forum at Western

KALAMAZOO – Local members of the bipartisan Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs coalition advocated for increasing Michigan’s renewable energy and energy efficiency use at Gov. Rick Snyder’s energy forum held at Western Michigan University.

The Michigan Public Service Commission reported last month that renewable energy and energy efficiency are creating jobs and making energy more affordable. 

“Michigan has the talent, expertise and manufacturing strength to become a regional leader in the clean energy field,” said Art Toy, principal at Four Elements Energy in Lawrence.  “By increasing our use of renewable energy and energy efficiency, we can create more jobs, foster investment, and make energy more affordable for businesses and consumers.”

According to the MPSC, Michigan’s major utilities are on track to meet the current renewable energy standard of 10 percent by 2015.  Michigan’s major utilities have also already generated savings from investments in energy efficiency programs ahead of schedule. 

The MPSC determined that renewable energy is cheaper than new coal generation and for every $1 invested in energy efficiency, customers avoid $3.55 in energy costs. 

“Renewable energy and energy efficiency investments are already boosting local economies,” said Marty Stone, member of the Amalgamated Transit Union in Kalamazoo.  “We are seeing opportunities for Michigan-based manufacturing companies to create more jobs as the demand for renewable energy rises.  A long-term energy plan for Michigan would continue this momentum of more jobs, affordable energy, as well as improved public health.”

There are nearly 30 other states that currently have stronger renewable energy or energy efficiency standards than Michigan.

Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs is a bipartisan coalition of more than 300 Michigan businesses, health professionals, labor unions, academics and scientists, agricultural and rural voices, faith leaders, environmental and conservation groups and more.

Follow the governor’s energy forums on Twitter using the hashtag #mienergy.

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