CLEAN ENERGY NOW
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dan Farough
Thursday, January 8, 2008 (517) 999-3646 Office
(517) 643-2949 Cell
(248) 321-4579 Cell
Poll: Strong Public Support
For Granholm Crackdown on Coal Plant Pollution
Survey Finds Voters in Support of Restricting CO2 Pollution from Coal Plants
LANSING – In anticipation that Governor Granholm may soon act on a growing call to crackdown on coal plant pollution, Clean Energy Now rereleased a statewide poll which found overwhelming support for stronger protections against global warming carbon dioxide emissions before more coal plants are built. Michigan's energy future is threatened by eight outdated coal plant proposals – more than in any other state.
The poll, conducted by Greenburg, Quinlan, and Rosner in August found that 69% of voters support an executive order from the governor that would establish protections against the amount of carbon dioxide pollution that can be released from coal plants before any more coal-burning facilities are built in the state. The poll also concluded that support cuts across party lines, with 82% of Democrats, 58% of Republicans and 69% of Independents supporting the measure. The survey asked 600 Michigan voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.
"The public wants strong protections against global warming before we rush to build more outdated coal plants," said Anne Woiwode, Director of the Michigan Sierra Club. "Governor Granholm must act to protect the Great Lakes and Michigan families from the dangers of global warming pollution before energy corporations rush to add to the problem."
Of the eight coal plants that are being proposed, at least four have begun the permitting process. Those four would emit more than 15 million tons of CO2 yearly and more than 750 million tons of CO2 over their expected 50-year lives. Michigan must dramatically reduce CO2 emissions to avert catastrophic climate change; a goal that would be significantly hampered if new coal plants are built and clean energy measures are blocked. Carbon dioxide pollution from coal plants is one of the leading contributors to global warming, worldwide.
None of Michigan's eight coal plant proposals offer any protections against carbon dioxide pollution. The groups pointed out that, in November, an EPA panel rejected a federal permit for a dirty coal plant in Utah for protection against carbon dioxide pollution.
The decision, based on a Supreme Court ruling in 2007, is part of a growing trend against more coal plant developments until the EPA decides how to address global warming pollution from coal plants.
Coal is becoming an increasingly bad investment, due to many factors. A study published by Doyle Trading Consultants and Evolution Markets in March found that the price of coal has jumped by 64%-93% between 2007 and 2008, and construction costs for coal-fired power plant facilities have risen 40% since 2000, according to the Edison Electric Institute and Energy Information Administration.
"The governor's leadership is critical at this pivotal moment in our fight to turn the state away from outdated coal burning and toward a clean, renewable energy future. She can leave a lasting legacy by taking a stand in the fight for Michigan's energy future by using her executive power to stop permitting of coal plants until protections are put in place against dangerous global warming pollutants," said Steve Rall of citizens group Lansing Can Do Better. "We know now that the public supports stronger protections against coal plant pollution, and we're calling on Governor Granholm to cement her clean energy legacy by protecting the Great Lakes and our families from the growing threat of climate change."
Additionally, the groups cited a recent report which found that Michigan could stand to gain 60,000 new jobs if clean energy industries were to be implemented into the state's energy plan – many more than would be gained by a continued commitment to outdated coal-burning.
"We can do better than more outdated, 1950s style coal burning plants which mean more carbon dioxide pollution and less clean energy jobs. The public overwhelming supports taking our state in a new direction," said Cyndi Roper, Director of Michigan Clean Water Action. "Governor Granholm can do this, but we first need her to issue an executive order to require new protections against dangerous CO2 pollution before more coal burning plant are built in our state."
A petition supporting action by the governor can be signed by visiting: http://www.michigancleanenergynow.com.