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Clean Energy, Clean Fuels Campaign



The Ecology Center's Clean Energy, Clean Fuels Campaign promotes policy solutions that increase our energy independence, decrease Michigan's global warming pollution, and encourage sustainable agricultural and forestry practices that improve soil quality, enhance wildlife habitat, and preserve other conservation values. For Michigan to become a leader in sustainable fuels, we must first shift incentives away from corn ethanol to next generation, cellulosic biofuels (e.g., grasses and woody biomass), and other low-carbon fuels (clean electricity for plug-in electric cars).


electric-vehicles-lansing-capitol-eventElectric cars in the spotlight at the Michigan Capitol: Seeing the future through the windshield

Michigan legislators and other public officials got behind the wheel to learn more about the future of electric vehicles in the state during a ride-and-drive at the Capitol on May 10.

The event coincided with hearings by the energy and technology committees in the Michigan House and Senate, featuring reports from the Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEV) Preparedness Task Force. Read more>>

Midwest needs to step up efforts to compete in new-energy economy

Michigan and other states in the Midwest have all the ingredients to be a leader in the clean-energy economy, according to a report released April 21, but will need to step up efforts to compete effectively with other parts of the country and world.

The report, "Unfinished Business: What the Midwest Needs to do to Lead in the Clean Energy Economy," compiled by the National Wildlife Federation, finds that clean energy policies are already benefiting parts of the Midwest, creating thousands of jobs and generating revenue for cash-strapped cities. Read more>>

Ecology Center supports electric vehicles

The Ecology Center has joined with allies throughout Michigan to support policies to promote the adoption of electric vehicles.

"In his State of the Union address, President Obama nailed it when he said it is time to stop subsidizing yesterday's energy, and to start investing in tomorrow's," according to Charles Griffith, energy and climate programs director at the Ecology Center.

"In Michigan, tomorrow is here. With the Chevy Volt and the new electric Ford Focus, we can lead the nation to meeting the one-million vehicle challenge, and continue to be part of the exciting future of the domestic auto industry," Griffith said. Read more>>

Groups Applaud Obama's Electric Vehicle Agenda
Praise One Million By 2015 Goal, Challenge Michigan to Seize Opportunity

Michigan citizens groups today applauded President Barack Obama's call for Americans to make the nation the world's first to put one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, and his plan to shift money from oil company subsidies into incentives for electric vehicle purchases and infrastructure investments.

"The President in his State of the Union address nailed it when he said it is time to stop subsidizing yesterday's energy, and to start investing in tomorrow's," said Charles Griffith of the Ecology Center. "In Michigan, tomorrow is here. With the Chevy Volt and the new electric Ford Focus, we can lead the nation to meeting the one-million vehicle challenge, and continue to be part of the exciting future of the
domestic auto industry." Read more>>

New Report From Midwest Governors Says Cleaner Fuels Will Create More Jobs

Strategies Would Support Chevy Volt, Other Electric Vehicles

A Midwest Governors Association task force has recommended cleaner fuels and increased use of cleaner vehicles like the electric Chevy Volt to create jobs in Michigan and other Midwest states. The recommendations come in a report from a broad-based group that included government officials, business leaders and energy experts.

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GM launches Chevy Volt (to Media)

The Chevy Volt, which will go on sale next month, was formally introduced to press today. Journalists, auto analysts and bloggers are getting the chance to test-drive the $41,000 plug-in electric vehicle throughout the week (a $7,500 federal tax credit applies). EPA has not provided a fuel economy rating for this new vehicle, but the Volt is expected to blow-out anything currently on the market by a significant margin.

GM also announced that it has invested over $700 million in eight Michigan plants to manufacture the Volt and its components, including: $336 million at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant where the Volt is assembled; $43 million at Brownstown Battery Assembly where battery packs for the car are made; $202 million at Flint Engine South where GM will build the Volt's 1.4L engine and a 1.4L turbocharged engine for the Chevrolet Cruze. And in Holland, GM's battery cell supplier LG Chem and subsidiary Compact Power have begun construction on a $304 million battery plant.

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Utilities Implement Rate Structures for EVs

Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison are preparing for electric vehicles to join the utility grid by offering new electricity rates for EV's that encourage night-time "off-peak" charging. DTE has received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission to offer two different time of use rates for customers charging plug-ins at home -- a more expensive daytime rate and a cheaper overnight rate -- as well as a flat rate of $40 per month for up to 250 customers. Jackson-based Consumers Energy plans to offer three different rate options for consumers, including a time-of-use rate for the whole home and a flat EV rate of $35 for the first 300 kilowatt hours. Both utilities also are offering free installation of EV charging stations for the first 2,500 customers signing up for one of the new rates.

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Bill Supporting Public EV Charging Stations (HB 6435) Passes House Energy & Technology Committee

HB 6435, the Incentives for Public EV Charging Stations Act, passed out of the House Energy and Technology Committee today with widespread support. Sponsored by Rep. Ed Clemente, there was no opposition recorded and support came from many directions, including: the auto industry, battery manufacturers, IBEW, utilities, and environmental groups such as the Ecology Center, the Michigan Environmental Council and Clean Water Action.

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Oil Company Front Group Distorts Truth in Michigan Radio Ads to Avoid Responsibility for Carbon Pollution

Facts Show Low-Carbon Fuel Policy Would Create Jobs in State's Auto and Agricultural Sectors

An oil company-funded ad campaign in Michigan and other Midwest states is distorting the truth in order to keep Michigan addicted to imported oil. The ads are part of a $1 million dollar effort to strong-arm Senators Levin & Stabenow, along with other supporters, into opposing a federal Low-carbon Fuel Standard. Michigan's Senators rightfully claim that car companies aren't the only industry that should be required to cut emissions. They understand that low carbon fuels, such as advanced electric batteries and cellulosic ethanol, are good for Michigan's economy. Read More.

Ecology Center Applauds President Obama's Electric Vehicle Battery Manufacturing Efforts

hollandBut Michigan Needs Additional Policies to Ensure Demand for EV's

The Ecology Center applauds the Obama administration's support of U.S. advanced battery manufacturing initiatives, highlighted in the President's visit today to the groundbreaking of Compact Power's new lithium-ion battery assembly plant in Holland, MI. Read more.

April 1, 2010: Historic New Fuel Economy Standards a Win-Win-Win for the Environment, Consumers, and the Industry

The Ecology Center applauds the final fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission rules announced by the Obama administration today. The rules represent a first-ever joint rulemaking between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They also meet the requirements previously adopted by the State of California and by other states that adopted the California standards. For more information click here.

Michigan Climate Action Plan to Grow State Economy and Cut Energy Prices

Analysis of the macroeconomic effects of Michigan's Climate Action Plan indicates that implementation of a set of recommendations by the Michigan Climate Action Council (MCAC) would expand Michigan's economy and cut household energy prices. According to the report, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard alone could create up to 11,000 jobs and add more than $3 billion to the state’s economic activity. For more information click here [PDF].

Rep. Lee Gonzales Introduces Low Carbon Fuel Standard Bill in Michigan

reportthumb In a teleconference today, State Representative Lee Gonzales announced his policy proposal to capitalize on Michigan’s strategic advantages by promoting low carbon fuels. By redirecting even a portion of the over $14 billion that leaves our state’s economy each year to import petroleum products, Michigan could boost its economy and become a leader in developing and using sustainable homegrown biofuels and advanced battery technologies. A new report by the Ecology Center and Environment Michigan evaluates the leading contenders in the alternative fuels race and finds that the key policy action to establish Michigan’s leadership role in this emerging market is enactment of a “Low-Carbon Fuel Standard.”


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President Obama's Electric Vehicle Battery Manufacturing Efforts (PDF)
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Michigan's LCFS (HB 5383)


Moving Michigan Beyond Oil Report & Factsheet (pdfs)
Low Carbon Fuel Standard Factsheet (pdf)

rfc Learn about the recommendations from Michigan's Renewable Fuels Commission (RFC) to the Governor and State Legislators (pdf)

Ecology Center Plays Role in Historic Passage of New Fuel Economy Standards

Biofuels: The Good, The Bad, The Low-Carbon

Michigan can grow biofuels the right way, Ecology Center’s Charles Griffith in Detroit Free Press


Built By Michigan: Protecting Our Resources with Electric Vehicles (Factsheet)

Built by Michigan: Creating Jobs in the Electric Vehicle Industry (Factsheet)

Electric Vehicle Readiness

Midwestern Governors Association Advanced Transportation Fuels Advisory Group
2010 Low Carbon Fuels Policy Document
Low Carbon Fuel Standard, Daniel Sperling and Sonia Yeh
Report Introducing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard in the Northeast Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management
mich Michigan Climate Action Council Transportation Recommendations
carb California: Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuel Standard
nrdc Switchboard, from NRDC: Nathaneal Greene’s Blog
EPA: Renewable Fuel Standard Program
nrdc Putting Biofuels on the Right Track: Renewable Fuels Standard safeguards protect wildlife and the environment, Natural Resources Defense Council (pdf)


Report Introducing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard in the Northeast Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management
Oil Sands Myths: Clearing the Air, Pembina Institute
right Getting Biofuels Right: Eight Steps for Reaping Real Environmental Benefits from Biofuels, Natural Resources Defense Council (pdf)
UCS Benefits of a Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Performance Based, Technology-Neutral Policy To Reduce Emissions from Transportation Fuel, Union of Concerned Scientists


sc_ww_report Smart Choices for Biofuels, Sierra Club/World Watch