Governor Calls for the Elimination of Energy Waste; More Renewables

via http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeross/5313158995/sizes/l/

via http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeross/5313158995/sizes/l/

In a speech this morning Governor Snyder laid out a framework for Michigan’s energy future focused on adaptability, reliability, affordability, and protection of the environment.

WMEAC applauds the Governor’s vision for a “no regrets” energy future by 2025, calling for an emphasis on eliminating energy waste, and replacing coal. 

“Energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest, and most quickly deployed source of energy available for Michiganders,” said WMEAC Policy Director Nicholas Occhipinti.  “And today Governor Snyder  agreed.”

In his speech the Governor highlighted the importance of eliminating energy waste – and the pursuit of policies that will capture all economical energy efficiency.  This process of evaluating energy efficiency as a new source of energy, similar to coal or natural gas, will elevate the status of energy efficiency and increase its utilization.

“Energy efficiency is an investment in Michigan homes and businesses – in Michigan communities – jobs are created locally and the capital stays in Michigan”, said Rachel Hood, WMEAC’s Executive Director.

Governor Snyder also called for the protection of public health and the environment as pillars of his plan.

“Transitioning to clean energy sources and being more energy efficient will give us cleaner air and reduce asthma and lung disease complications,” said Rory Neuner of MI Air MI Health. “Michigan doctors, nurses, scientists and other health advocates support transitioning from coal to clean because it will reduce illness, help rein in health care costs and ultimately save lives.”

Michigan currently gets more than 50% of its electricity from coal, and coal-fired power plants pollute our air and water and has direct impacts on the health of Michiganders across the state. In Michigan alone, over 250,000 children have asthma and more than 4 million people live in counties with dangerous levels of air pollution.

“Michigan’s energy generation needs to be part of a healthier future, reducing mercury emissions, pollution that creates acid rain, and particles in the air for the health of Michigan,”  read the Governor’s release.

“The fact that we can’t eat some of the fish we catch in Lake Michigan because of Mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants, is appalling and we must work to change that,” said Mr. Occhipinti.

After holding energy forums across the state earlier this year, the Michigan Public Service Commission released draft and final reports on several topics, including energy efficiency and renewable energy. Highlights from the report include:

  • Meeting a renewable energy target of 30% is achievable.
  • Michigan could slash its use of electricity by one-third over the next ten years through energy efficiency.

The Governor’s recommendations build on his 2012 Special Message on Energy and the Environment  and four energy reports by MPSC Chairman John D. Quackenbush and Michigan Energy Office Director Steve Bakkal.

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