Renewable energy initiative clears major hurdle to getting on the ballot

Michigan could have the chance this fall to create thousands of new jobs and improve public health across the state by adopting a constitutional amendment to increase the amount of renewable energy generated in the state.


After the ballot language was approved earlier this month, a coalition of environmental, public health, labor and business groups launched a campaign to gather enough signatures to get the amendment on the November ballot.


“Raising the state’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent by 2025 will make our air cleaner, generate thousands of new jobs, and reduce our dependence on coal and other fossil fuels,” according to Charles Griffith, climate and energy program director at the Ecology Center.


Current state law, adopted in 2008, requires 10 percent of Michigan's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2015.


This initiative will help expand Michigan’s clean energy production, without significantly increasing energy prices, according to several studies. Twenty other states, including Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa, have already adopted measures similar to this initiative.


“In addition to creating new jobs, using more wind and solar energy will reduce pollution, protect the Great Lakes, and reduce asthma and lung disease,” Griffith said.


 


EcoLink — January 2012 Ecolink
An online publication of the Ecology Center


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Published on January 14, 2012