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E-M:/ Press Release: Environmentalists Testify Today to Urge Green Priorities for Bond
- Subject: E-M:/ Press Release: Environmentalists Testify Today to Urge Green Priorities for Bond
- From: Tracey Easthope <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 14:00:48 -0400
- Delivered-to: email@example.com
- Delivered-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- List-name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-to: Tracey Easthope <email@example.com>
Title: Press Release: Environmentalists Testify Today to
For Immediate Release, June 16,
Mike Garfield, Ecology Center
David Gard, Michigan Environmental Council
Environmentalists Testify Today
to Urge Green Priorities for Bond
trends favoring cleaner materials, and cleaner energy
environmentalists today challenged the legislature and the Governor to
"green" the jobs bond. In a statement to legislators,
major state environmental groups urged that priority be given to areas
of rapid job growth that will also result in clean manufacturing,
clean air and water, energy efficiency, preservation of farmland, and
protection of the Great Lakes.
"Michigan's unique economic base, which includes
manufacturing, agriculture and tourism, make the State the ideal place
to innovate in clean manufacturing, clean energy, and bio-based
materials and fuels from agricultural products," said Mike
Garfield, Director of the Ecology Center.
"Michigan already has the infrastructure in place, the
technological know-how, the research facilities, and the trained work
force to become a leader in green manufacturing. Innovative
businesses are already moving in that direction. But we need to
provide support and incentives and build markets for the businesses
that are creating the products of tomorrow," said David Gard of
the Michigan Environmental Council.
nearly every industry sector, the growth of green products and
services is expected to far outstrip the non-green alternatives.
Bio-based materials are estimated to grow from .5% of current
production to more than 12% by 2010, and 25% by 2030.
Bio-based raw materials can come from agricultural products and waste,
supporting farmers and farm communities.
Similarly, sales of so called 'green' solvents are expected to
grow by more than 5.7% per year, while sales for traditional solvents
will be flat. Growth in green energy, and green building
materials are also predicted to grow dramatically in the coming
years. In many cases, demand far outstrips supply in green
product areas, as demonstrated recently with hybrid cars.
"These bond proposals are a tremendous opportunity
to restore Michigan's heritage," said Zoe Lipman, of the National
Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Office. "By investing in
state of the art, high growth industries that are also environmentally
sound - we have an opportunity to protect and rebuild the two pillars
of Michigan's identity -vibrant industry and healthy Great
the export market is also critical for Michigan, and green products
and processes are some of the most promising in this arena as well.
Environmental regulations internationally, particularly in Western
Europe, increasingly require greener materials. Michigan's total
global exports last year were $35 billion, with $4.3 billion to the
European Union. Transportation equipment topped the list of
exports, where regulations are moving the industry toward greener
To capitalize on these emerging markets with the greatest
potential for growth, Michigan needs to prioritize investment in the
development of green technologies, products and services, while
protecting and restoring our natural resources.
"Direct services from our environment --
agriculture and tourism -- are the second and third largest sources of
jobs in the State. We must protect and restore and build on our
natural state assets," said Garfield.
"Greening manufacturing has many benefits
beyond capturing emerging markets: it reduces threats to health and
the environment thereby reducing health care and cleanup costs; it
increases our ability to attract the best and brightest to a state
with wonderful natural amenities; decreases health care costs
associated with environmental degradation; it can support agricultural
production in the state; and it increases the quality of life for all
Michiganders," said Cyndi Roper of Clean Water Action.
"The goals of a vibrant economy with plentiful jobs and a
restored and protected environment are not only compatible, Michigan's
future depends on this marriage," said Roper.
Environmentalists urged priority be given within the existing
bond proposal to clean energy, particularly in advanced efficiency
technologies that improve energy efficiency, in green manufacturing
and bio-based materials and "green chemistry," chemicals and
chemical processes that are designed to reduce or eliminate the use or
generation of hazardous substances through safe and efficient
The following groups
submitted a proposal to the state legislature today: Ecology
Center, Michigan Environmental Council, National Wildlife Federation,
Clean Water Action, and the Michigan League of Conservation