Michigan’s initiative for renewable energy jobs and economy
Counterpoint: More renewable energy will create jobs, rein in energy costs M Live Micigan, By Todd Fettig , August 23, 2012, Opponents of increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard should rethink their obstruction to more Michigan-made energy, more jobs, more clean air and water, and more opportunities for Michigan manufacturers and businesses to compete in the clean energy economy.
They should also rethink using paid and unpaid mouthpieces like former state Sen. Ken Sikkema and Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Rick Baker to spread misinformation and distortions about what the bipartisan Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs proposal will actually do.
Mark Fisk Just as flat-screen TVs that cost $6,000 in 2002 cost less than $450
today, renewable energy is also getting cheaper with innovation and new technology. Michiganders should know one fact up front: The Michigan Public Service Commission clearly states that renewable energy now costs $58 per megawatt/hour LESS than the cost of building a new coal plant.
To protect ratepayers and businesses, the 25 by 2025 proposal
explicitly states that utilities cannot raise electricity prices
related to the cost of generating renewable energy by any more than 1
percent on any given year. For the average Michigan household, that’s
no more than $1.25 a month.
In addition to protecting ratepayers from unreasonable rate increases,
this proposal will open the door to more job creation and investments
in the fast-growing renewable energy sector. This proposal will also
increase competition, which will further rein in electricity costs.
Recently, Michigan State University economists and academics released
a study showing that increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard
to 25 percent by 2025 can create an estimated 94,000 Michigan jobs and
generate $10.3 billion in new investments.
That’s why a diverse bipartisan group supports 25 by 2025, including
more than 240 Michigan businesses, health professionals such as the
Michigan Nurses Association, labor unions, faith leaders,
environmental organizations, agriculture and rural communities, and
They recognize that 25 by 2025 is the best opportunity this year for
Michigan to strengthen our economy, put people back to work and
protect public health by reducing coal pollution.
More than 30 states have renewable energy standards similar to
Michigan’s initiative, including our Midwest neighbors Illinois,
Minnesota, Ohio and Iowa, which all have 25 by 2025 standards.
The Hawkeye State’s Republican Gov. Terry Branstadt credits Iowa’s
renewable energy standard for sparking its manufacturing rebirth. The
Illinois Power Agency found its renewable energy standard played a
“dramatic role in reducing electric energy prices” and saved $176
The status quo is unsustainable. Nearly 60 percent of Michigan’s
electricity comes from coal, all of it imported. Every year, Michigan
ratepayers and businesses burn $1.7 billion importing coal from other
states, creating jobs there when we could be keeping our dollars and
This Nov. 6, Michigan voters will have a choice on 25 by 2025 – and
the final say, as they always do. Michigan’s Constitution, enacted in
1963, has been amended more than 30 times by Michigan voters on a wide
range of issues: Michigan’s minimum drinking age, property tax
limitations, school funding and dozens of other policies.
Powerful special interests will use any smokescreen to protect the
status quo, their profits and their monopoly on energy. The people of
Michigan will see through the distortions. They won’t be fooled
because they know Michigan’s ability to compete for jobs and
opportunity is at stake.
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