FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 25, 2013
Local voices testify before governor’s energy forum in Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS – Local businesses, academics, health professionals, consumers, environmental and conservation advocates testified in favor of increasing Michigan’s use of renewable energy and energy efficiency at Gov. Rick Snyder’s second energy forum held Monday on the campus of Grand Valley State University.
The Michigan Public Service Commission recently released a report highlighting the fact renewable energy and energy efficiency is creating Michigan jobs and helping to rein in rising energy costs. For every $1 invested in energy efficiency, customers avoid $3.55 in energy costs, according to the MPSC.
“Grand Rapids has set a course for sustainability and economic growth by harnessing renewable energy to power our city, supporting clean energy businesses and engaging in energy efficiency programs,” said Mayor George Heartwell. “Now is the time to embrace a long-term energy plan for Michigan that moves our state forward.”
Michigan’s major utilities are on track to meet the current renewable energy standard of 10 percent by 2015, according to the MPSC, and renewable energy continues to be cheaper than new coal generation. Meanwhile, the utilities are ahead of schedule for the savings generated from investments in energy efficiency programs.
“The economic case for more renewable energy and energy efficiency is clear. These policies are creating Michigan jobs and sparking investment and we have the opportunity to do even more,” said Paul Isely, professor of economics at GVSU. “This is just the beginning. Michigan can witness more job creation and investment if we increase our use of renewable energy and energy efficiency and I hope the governor’s energy forums lead us down that path.”
Nearly 30 other states have stronger renewable energy or energy efficiency standards than Michigan. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Michigan consumers spent $1.7 billion a year to import coal from other states.
“By increasing Michigan’s use of renewable energy and energy efficiency, we can reduce dangerous pollution in our air and water that contributes to asthma attacks, heart and lung disease,” said Adam London, interim health officer for the Kent County Health Department. “The governor’s energy forums provide an important venue for health professionals like me to talk about the positive health impact of increasing Michigan’s use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
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.