For immediate release: Contacts:
October 4, 2006 Abby Rubley, Environment Michigan
David Gard, Michigan Environmental Council
Rev. Charles Morris, St. Elizabeth Catholic Church and MI Interfaith Power & Light Association
Over 60 Candidates Support “New Energy Future” Platform
New report finds energy plan would save 900 million tons of coal per year
Wyandotte & Lansing, Mich.—Standing in front of a solar and wind powered church and in the Capitol, Environment Michigan and a network of faith-based, labor, business and environmental allies announced the first steps in a far-reaching effort calling on state and congressional candidates to support moving Michigan beyond fossil fuels and toward a cleaner energy future.
“Michigan has the know-how to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and move toward a cleaner, more secure energy future,” said Abby Rubley, Field Organizer with Environment Michigan. “We need leaders who have the political will to support putting our national security, environment, global climate, and children’s futures above the energy industry’s interests.”
Michigan’s energy problems are mounting. From 1960-2001, Michigan’s energy consumption tripled while population grew by only 26 percent. Since Michigan imports 100% of its coal, 100% of its uranium, 96% of its oil and 75% of its natural gas, energy consumption not only has direct costs to residents and consumers, but also represents a drain on Michigan’s economy. Michiganders annually spend over $20 billion importing energy (nearly 5% of the state’s GSP).
As a response to this impending crisis, Environment Michigan is calling on all state and federal candidates to deliver on the promise of a New Energy Future by supporting policies that help Michigan and the rest of the country achieve three key goals:
Environment Michigan has already received over 60 signatures from candidates on the New Energy Future platform.
Today, Environment Michigan Research & Policy Center released a report today showing the benefits of these policies. According to the report, achieving these goals by 2025 would enable the United States to:
“The potential payback from these efforts is tremendous,” said David Gard, Energy Policy Director with Michigan Environmental Council. “The result will be a cleaner, more sustainable foundation on which to build Michigan’s economy for the 21st century,” continued Gard.
Over the next six weeks, Environment Michigan will work with allied groups across the country to build support for the goals of the New Energy Future. “The response to stopping global warming and moving toward clean energy within the religious community has been tremendous,” said Reverend Charles Morris, Director of Michigan Interfaith Power & Light. “Just this week, 80 congregations in Michigan have shown or will show The Inconvenient Truth as part of our energy education and outreach effort.”
“The time has come for Michigan to build a stronger economy by leading the country in the creation of new, clean energy,” said Daniel Leland, Field Organizer for Environment Michigan. “Doing so will reinvigorate our economy, create the jobs of today and tomorrow, save consumers money, and protect our environment. It’s up to candidates for public office to make the promise of a New Energy Future a reality.”
The full text of the report and the New Energy Future state and federal platform are available at www.environmentmichigan.org or upon request. The list of candidates who have signed onto the platform so far is also available upon request.
Environment Michigan - a statewide, citizen-based, non-profit, non-partisan environmental advocacy organization - is the new home of PIRGIM’s environmental work. www.environmentmichigan.org