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E-M:/ Ditch Dirty Energy

Enviro-Mich message from Phil Shepard <shepard@acd.net>

Appended is the letter I've emailed to mid Michigan media outlets. Please use the contents in your area to reach other media. Campaign information is at : http://www.energyaction.net/main/index.php

Phil Shepard


November 15, 2004

Ditch Dirty Energy

Tuesday afternoon Michigan students from Energy Action – a new coalition of 17 student and progressive organizations – present to Gov. Granholm the Declaration of Independence from Dirty Energy. Signed by tens of thousands of young people across the nation, the Declaration calls for freedom from oil, investment in clean energy, environmental justice, and real action to stop global warming.

Because we rely so heavily on coal to make electricity, power plant pollution shortens the lives of 981 people in Michigan each year. Among nearly 2 million Michigan children who live within 30 miles of a power plant, asthma is a growing problem due to fine particulates emitted from smoke stacks. 500 miles of rivers and all of Michigan's lakes contain dangerous levels of mercury, most of which came from coal burning power plants.

Yet we have the technical potential to generate more than half again as much electricity as we need from clean, renewable resources. Consider just the $1+ billion we spend each year on energy needs of government facilities and schools. Right now most of that goes right out of the state to pay fuel costs. If we met our needs with renewables in Michigan, that money would stay here, jobs would be created and, with a 2-3 times economic multiplier effect, it would greatly help to put our economy back on its feet. Now add in the additional billions we pay for commercial, residential, and industrial facilities' energy. . . .

It's time we caught up with other Great Lakes states and made a down payment on our children's future. By breaking our fossil fuel addiction and moving to renewables and energy efficiency we can abate global warming, recover a healthy environment, and keep more of the dollars we make circulating in Michigan.

For the Michigan Students' Energy Action,

Phil Shepard

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