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E-M:/ Michigan Youth - Rising to the Climate Challenge by Spreading the Love

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                            




Brandon Knight, Brandon@globalexchange.org, 248-521-4219



Rising to the Climate Challenge by Spreading the Love

Michigan Students Give Valentines to Michigan Legislature

 in Support of Clean Energy


Lansing, MI - At 11 a.m. on February 19th, 2009, the Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition and human rights organization Global Exchange held a press conference at the state capitol in Lansing, Mi to announce the launch of the Energy Future campaign and to drop off Valentines Day cards to members of the Michigan Legislature.  The event included an opening address by Rep. Dan Scripts (D – 101st District), and speeches by Tremaine Phillips of the Michigan Environmental Council and Brandon Knight of Global Exchange.  The M.S.S.C. had speeches from Michigan State University ECO President Mignonne Silva and MSU Women's Council member Bethany Lumbert, University of Michigan graduate Chris Detjen, Grand Rapids Community College student Nick Wikar and Michael Collins, Coordinator of the Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition.


The MSSC declared support for Michigan Governor Granhom in her call for the following: A 45% reduction in fossil fuel usage by 2020, doubling renewable energy usage in the U.S. in the next three years, and funding green jobs training programs. Next week they will be sending 400+ youth to Washington DC to join thousands at the National Power Shift conference. At Power Shift, youth leaders from Michigan will demand that the President and Congress pass bold, federal energy and climate legislation in 2009 that dramatically reduces carbon emissions, creates millions of green jobs, and transitions the nation towards 100% clean and just energy. 


The M.S.S.C. dropped off the cards in conjunction with hundreds of youth across the state that sent online Valentines Day cards to the state legislature over the past month through www.Cleanenergylove.com in conjunction with Progress Michigan.   The Valentines Day cards are in support of the Energy Future Campaign that includes 4 asks from the Michigan legislature:

1)       A renewable energy standard (RES) of at least 30% by 2025.

2)       Energy efficiency (EE) standard requiring 2% annual energy efficiency increases in this state between now and 2015, with a commitment to the renegotiation of a stronger standard after 2015.

3)       Integrated Resource Planning (IRP), which would require state regulators to consider demand-side options like energy efficiency programs as well as supply-side options in their efforts to meet Michigan's needs for energy, equity, and the environment.

4)        A moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in Michigan.


"Legislature, think about our future as youth, both our economy and the places we will live in Michigan," urged Mignonne Silva of the Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition.  "We urge you to support the Governor in her call for a clean energy future in Michigan.  Before we allow more dirty energy facilities to be built in Michigan, please recognize that in a few short years we will inherit these new facilities.  We need the State Legislature to put policies in place that promote clean energy, job growth and a revitalization of the Michigan economy.  Coal and nuclear facilities are old technology and we need to transition to clean sources of energy" 


"In the recent State of the State address, Governor Granholm helped Michigan make an important choice," declared Nick Wikar coordinator the Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition in Grand Rapids.  "She proposed a far-reaching plan to slash Michigan's use of fossil fuels in power plants by 45 percent within 12 years.  The proposal sends the message that in Michigan we will put our families, public health and ability to compete for 21st century jobs first.  Investment in clean alternative energy creates many times more jobs than building coal plants.  We have to invest in high growth future industries like alternative energy if we are going to create jobs for our people and turn our state around.    Michigan is ready to join the race with other states and countries, and build a strong future based on clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency, not outdated polluting coal technology.  Gov. Granholm has shown true leadership on energy issues, and today's action is a victory for the people of Michigan. "

For more information on Power Shift 2009, please visit: www.powershift09.org. 

For more information on Valentines Card Campaign, please visit: www.cleanenergylove.com