News Release: Businesses, workers call for stronger renewable energy, energy efficiency at governor's energy forum in Traverse City

April 22, 2013
TRAVERSE CITY – Local members of the bipartisan Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs coalition called for increasing Michigan’s renewable energy and energy efficiency use at Gov. Rick Snyder’s energy forum held Monday in Traverse City.

The forum was the last of seven held across the state. The Michigan Public Service Commission and Michigan Energy Office will compile a report based on the public input received, which will then be used by Snyder to make energy policy recommendations later this year.

“The facts show renewable energy and energy efficiency create jobs, spark new businesses and help rein in rising energy costs,” said Tim Pulliam, co-founder of Keen Technical Solutions in Traverse City. “When nearly 30 other states have stronger renewable energy and energy efficiency standards than Michigan, there’s no time to waste. With our manufacturing heritage and entrepreneurial spirit, our state needs to adopt a long-term energy policy that positions Michigan to lead in this field.”

The renewable energy standard has created jobs for Michigan workers and sparked local economic development projects across the state, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission. The MPSC has determined the state’s major utilities are on track or exceeding expectations for savings due to energy efficiency programs.

There is no long-term plan beyond 2015 to embrace more homegrown energy sources and reduce the state’s dependence on imported coal, which currently produces nearly 60 percent of Michigan’s electricity.

“Clean energy clearly provides job opportunities for Michigan workers,” said Tonya DeVore, staff representative with the United Steelworkers District 2. “We should increase our use of renewable energy and energy efficiency to generate even more jobs for the people of Michigan, rather than sending our jobs and money to other states.”

More than 5,000 clean energy petitions were submitted at the Traverse City forum.

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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