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E-M:/ Experts: Don't Be Fooled! Renewable Energy, Increased Energy-Efficiency and Other Climate Change Solutions are Key to the Future Economy of Michigan



Title: EXPERTS: DON’T BE FOOLED

EXPERTS:  DON’T BE FOOLED!  RENEWABLE ENERGY, INCREASED ENERGY-EFFICIENCY AND OTHER CLIMATE-CHANGE SOLUTIONS ARE KEY TO THE FUTURE ECONOMY OF MICHIGAN

 

“Prebuttal” Held by Michigan, National Experts to Debunk Climate-Change Denial, “Economic Alarmism” Expected at Tuesday Chamber Event in Detroit;  Fear Mongers Ignore Huge “Green Job” Potential of 60,000 or More for Michigan.

 

DETROIT, MI.///November 17, 2008///Michigan’s economy could be substantially buoyed by 60,000 or more “green jobs” in response to renewable energy production, increased energy-efficiency measures and other climate-change solutions, according to Michigan and national experts from such organizations as the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan.

 

The experts cautioned business leaders, policy makers and the news media to take with a grain of salt the expected denial of global warming science and “economic alarmism” likely to be central themes at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event to be held Tuesday in Detroit.  For more information on what is wrong with such fear mongering, go to http://www.CO2MediaGuide.org.

 

In the wake of an election that makes action on climate change more likely, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is holding a series of events across the United States to minimize concerns about global warming and also to promote alarmist claims about the economic implications of taking action to curb climate change.   In doing so, the Chamber ignores the solid scientific consensus that global warming is both real and that it demands immediate action by policymakers.  The Chamber also makes job and tax-related claims that have been thoroughly debunked and which totally ignore the considerable employment and economy-boosting potential of green job creation, increased energy efficiency and climate-related scientific and other innovation.


Dr. Martin Kushler, director of the Utilities Program at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, said: ”The claim that taking steps to address climate change would be bad for the economy is simply not true.  We know from proven experience that we can save electricity through energy efficiency programs at one-third the cost of a new power plant.  With a strong energy efficiency policy we can save money and reduce carbon emissions at the same time.”

 

Dr. Andrew Hoffman, associate professor of management & organizations, associate professor of natural resources and associate director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan, said:  "Think of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as a market shift, one driven by regulations at the city, state, national and international levels. But one also driven by consumer, investor, insurance and energy markets.  Any company executive who ignores these shifts does so at their peril."

 

National Resources Defense Council Climate Campaign Director Pete Altman said:  "Detroit is just the latest stop in the Chamber of Commerce’s Chicken Little road show to gin up worries about efforts to solve our energy and climate problems. On display at these events are scientific misinterpretation and economic misunderstanding."

 

The experts pointed to the growing body of data pointing to huge benefits for Michigan’s economy associated with dealing with the consequences and solutions to climate change:

 

·         Michigan could be a leading U.S. source of alternative energy.  Michigan has the potential to become a big player in offshore wind energy, so says a new report released in October 2008 by the Land Policy Institute (LPI) at Michigan State University (MSU). The preliminary analysis finds that Michigan's portion of the Great Lakes has the capacity to produce 321,936 Megawatts of electricity from wind energy, a portion of which could be developed once depth, technology, view and environmental concerns are considered. Michigan's onshore wind potential was previously estimated at approximately 16,500 megawatts. The information provided by the new LPI report shows much more substantial opportunities for offshore wind energy.  (See http://www.landpolicy.msu.edu/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=71.)

 

·         More than 60,000 jobs in Michigan could be created under a “green recovery program.”  This is based on a September 2008 University of Massachusetts-Amherst report outlines a green economic recovery program to strengthen the U.S. econ­omy over the next two years and leave it in a better position for sustainable prosperity. In the pages that follow, we detail how to expand job opportunities by stimulating eco­nomic growth, stabilizing the price of oil, and making significant strides toward fight­ing global warming and building a green, low-carbon economy.  According to the report, this green job surge would have reduced unemployment in the state by more than 1 full percentage point.  (See http://www.environmentamerica.org/uploads/oI/Md/oIMd-4C-PFkED6ITtOlzbQ/peri_report.pdf.)

 

·         Up to 10,000 jobs will be created in the state through increased energy efficiency.  On October 7, 2008, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed legislation that sets mandatory energy savings goals for the state's electric and gas utilities. ‘This legislation represents a significant achievement for Michigan, which has had no utility energy efficiency resource programs since 1995,’ said ACEEE Utilities Program Director Dr. Martin Kushler. A 2007 ACEEE study (http://www.aceee.org/pubs/e07x.htm) coauthored by Dr. Kushler found that energy efficiency can actually reduce overall electricity costs, boost net employment, and reduce air pollutants within the state. The report found that greater energy productivity would result in a net annual employment increase in Michigan of between 3,900 and 10,000 jobs (depending on the level of energy efficiency policy pursued).  (See http://www.aceee.org/press/0810michigan.htm for more details.)

 

CONTACT:  Leslie Anderson, (703) 276-3256 or landerson@hastingsgroup.com.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  A streaming audio recording of this Michigan news event will be available on the Web as of 6 p.m. ET on November 17, 2008 at http://www.nrdc.org .