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E-M:/ FW: Press release: Michigan Leaders to Grow State's Alternative Fuel Industry



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Enviro-Mich message from "Julie Metty Bennett" <jmetty@pscinc.com>
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For Immediate Release: November 30, 2006

Contact: Bridget Beckman 517/373-1104 or beckmanb@michigan.gov 

Michigan Leaders to Grow State's Alternative Fuel Industry 

LANSING, MI--A commission established by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
to further grow the alternative fuel industry in Michigan held its first
meeting today to discuss new opportunities, challenges and recent
successes in the state. 

The Michigan Renewable Fuels Commission, comprised of public and private
sector leaders, is charged with identifying strategies for the Governor
and state legislature to further promote the production and distribution
of alternative fuel in Michigan. 

"We are determined to make Michigan a leader when it comes to producing
both alternative fuels and the technologies that harness them," said
Granholm.  "This new industry will produce tens of thousands of good
paying jobs, and we want to see those jobs in Michigan."

Members of the commission include representatives from state government,
universities, the automotive and agriculture industries and private
businesses. The commission will present formal recommendations to the
governor in summer 2007.  

"The work of the Renewable Fuels Commission is important to ensuring
that sound policy decisions are made in support of our growing
alternative fuel industry," said Mitch Irwin, Michigan Department of
Agriculture director and chair of the Renewable Fuels Commission.
"Recommendations from this diverse, unique and well-seasoned group will
serve us well in that effort." The meeting featured keynote speaker
Suzanne Hunt, biofuels project manager for Worldwatch Institute--an
independent research organization focusing upon critical global issues.
Hunt provided a global energy outlook and discussed opportunities for
biofuels. 

"Under the bold leadership of Governor Granholm and Michigan's state
legislature, this public-private partnership could provide much needed
jobs to the state and stand as a model for developing a thriving
alternative energy industry," said Hunt. 

The Michigan Renewable Fuels Commission was created earlier this year
when Granholm signed into law a seven-bill package designed to spur
growth of the state's alternative fuel industry. The package also
reduced the gas tax by 36 percent on fuel that contains ethanol and by
20 percent on biodiesel blends; provided grants to service station
owners who renovate or expand their existing stations to make E-85 and
biodiesel available; and allowed for the creation of new agriculture
renaissance zones to help spur additional ethanol and biodiesel plants.
Granholm has also called for the state to have 1,000 biofuel pumps
available by 2008. 

For more information on the Michigan Renewable Fuels Commission, visit:
www.renewablefuelscommission.org. 

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