NEWS RELEASE: Business, labor voices call for stronger renewable energy, energy efficiency policies at governor’s forum in Detroit

March 25, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
CONTACT: Stephanie Cepak, 517-333-1606

Business, labor voices call for stronger renewable energy, energy efficiency policies at governor’s forum in Detroit

DETROIT – 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 Monday in Detroit.

Nearly 30 other states, including Midwest states like Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, have stronger renewable energy or energy efficiency standards than Michigan. Michigan’s major utilities are on track to meet the current renewable energy standard of 10 percent by 2015 and are ahead of the projected savings from investments in energy efficiency, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission.

“Michigan’s clean energy sector supports 20,500 jobs, $5 billion a year in economic activity and is poised to expand with the right long-term energy plan in place,” said Carla Walker-Miller, president of Walker-Miller Energy Services in Detroit. “Michigan should be diversifying our energy mix to help rein in rising energy costs. Nearly 30 other states are doing that already and reaping the benefits of more jobs, greater investment and more affordable energy costs for consumers.”

The Illinois Power Agency reported its renewable energy standard has sparked “significant job creation” and “dramatically” lowered regional power prices, saving Illinois consumers $176 million in 2011 alone.

“Michigan’s manufacturing heritage puts our state in a strong position to become a leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and products,” said Al Choger, staff representative for the United Steelworkers. “We should be building off our successes by increasing our use of renewable energy and energy efficiency to create jobs and foster a stronger, more sustainable economy.”

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

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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