Michigan's Governor Announces Sweeping New Clean Energy Proposal

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) would like to commend Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm for the clean energy proposal she announced yesterday at her State-of-the-State address in Lansing (see http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/SOS2009_265915_7.pdf).

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) would like to commend Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm for the bold clean energy proposal she announced yesterday at her State-of-the-State address in Lansing (see http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/SOS2009_265915_7.pdf).


The centerpiece of the proposal is a goal to reduce Michigan's use of fossil fuels for electricity generation by 45% by 2020. Under this proposal, Michigan would dramatically expand the use of in-state renewable resources (both through utility-scale applications as well as through a proposed feed-in tariff for residential and business customers) and would aggressively increase energy efficiency efforts, in part by reforming regulation to "put our utilities in the energy efficiency business." She also directed the Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan Public Service Commission to rigorously examine any proposals for new coal-fired power plants to assess whether clean energy resources would be a viable and lower-cost alternative.

While this proposal has very important environmental significance, the core foundation of this proposal was the need for new jobs in Michigan and the desire to further expand the clean energy industry in the state. ACEEE Utilities Program Director Dr. Martin Kushler observed: "The Governor has served notice that she intends to have Michigan be a major player in the move toward 'clean energy.' States are trying to move in this direction because of the large energy cost savings and jobs creation benefits, as well as to position themselves to avoid future costs that will be associated with CO2 emissions. If fully implemented, this bold proposal would jump Michigan into the front row among states in that competition."

By emphasizing aggressive energy efficiency and "home grown" renewable energy, this package of policies would reduce costly energy imports, create local jobs, and improve the environment. We wish Michigan well in this effort.

The text of the Governor's speech is available at http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/SOS2009_265915_7.pdf.

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