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E-M:/ Michigan's Wake-Up Call: Renewable Energy Standard Now - or Lose Jobs, Investment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          Contact: Dan Farough

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008                                                                (517) 999-3646 Office

                                                                                                               (517) 643-2949 Cell

Leigh Fifelski

(248) 321-4579 Cell


Michigan's Wake-Up Call: Renewable Energy Standard Now – or Lose Jobs, Investments

Clean Energy Now: To attract jobs, Michigan should invest in clean energy and efficiency, not more dirty coal plants


LANSING Clean Energy Now, a coalition of environmental and watchdog groups, today renewed its call to the Legislature to pass a strong renewable energy standard quickly to bring in jobs and investments that are bypassing Michigan, while reducing emissions of dangerous greenhouse gases.


Clean Energy Now repeated its call for the state to oppose plans to build as many as seven dirty coal plants across Michigan, which will worsen global warming and raise electric rates.


"The way to move Michigan forward and create jobs is by investing in clean, renewable energy – not dirty, polluting coal plants that will send our entire state backward," said Dan Farough, executive director of Progress Michigan, a member of the coalition.


"At a time when dozens of other states are embracing a renewable energy standard and creating good-paying jobs in a high-growth sector of the economy, Michigan must not wade into the backwaters by building dirty, polluting coal plants that will inflict a heavy cost on consumers, businesses and our Great Lakes," said Dave Holtz, director of Clean Water Action. "A clean renewable energy standard is vital to building a strong energy future for Michigan. Clean energy equals good-paying Michigan jobs, independence from imported energy and coal plants, and the best way forward in our fight against global warming."


Clean Energy Now called on the Legislature to quickly pass legislation creating a renewable energy standard in Michigan, and companion legislation requiring utilities to provide energy efficiency programs for customers.  Clean Energy Now said it strongly supports a renewable energy standard of 20 percent by 2020, and a requirement for energy efficiency savings of 1% per year by 2012. The coalition is also spearheading an effort to block the construction of new dirty coal plants in Michigan. Up to seven new dirty coal plants are being proposed in Michigan.


"A renewable energy standard will increase our investments in clean, non-polluting energy and effectively eliminate the need for dirty polluting coal plants that spew carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our air," said Anne Woiwode director of the Michigan Sierra Club. "In an era of global warming and tough economic times, the Legislature must invest in clean energy and the jobs they will bring, instead of dirty coal plants that will send Michigan backwards and cost rate payers more. The Legislature must take heed and not burden consumers with bad investments in outdated coal technology. Michigan needs a renewable energy standard now to compete in today's economy."






On Tuesday, Gov. Jennifer Granholm repeated her call for the Legislature to quickly approve a renewable energy standard because Michigan was losing out on jobs and investments in one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.  Almost two dozen other states have passed renewable energy standards and created tens of thousands of good-paying jobs as a result.