Obama's 'double-down' support gives a push to renewable energy

'I will not walk away from the promise'

President Barack Obama’s strong support for Michigan’s future as a center for clean energy is just the latest indication of the promise and potential of this industry for our state.

In his State of the Union speech yesterday, Obama pointed out his guest Bryan Ritterby, a Michigander who was laid off from a furniture manufacturer and is now working at Energetx, a wind turbine manufacturer in Holland, Michigan, a job he describes as part of “the industry of the future.”

“I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy,” Obama said in his speech. I will not walk away from workers like Bryan. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here.”

The Ecology Center is supporting a renewable-energy ballot initiative in Michigan this fall, as well as Built by Michigan, a coalition supporting the advanced-battery and electric-vehicle industries.

As part of the Built by Michigan coalition, the Ecology Center is calling for a range of public policies to support the adoption of electric vehicles, a position that is in sync with much of the president’s energy agenda, which includes job-creating clean energy tax credits and incentives.

“Michigan is emerging as a leader in clean energy innovation, and investing in clean energy will certainly continue to bring new jobs to Michigan,” according to Charles Griffith, climate and energy program director at the Ecology Center. “Passing the renewable ballot initiative this fall is just one step that will allow Michigan to remain at the forefront of the new economy.” 

“We have subsidized oil companies for a century,” Obama said in his speech. “That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.”

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

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