Businesses Renew Their Call to Increase Clean Energy Standards in Michigan
Last week, while many were focused on the election, the Michigan Senate passed an energy package that has the potential to move clean energy forward in the state. With only seven weeks left in the legislative session, there is an opportunity to further strengthen these bills before they head to the House.
10 major businesses with a significant presence in Michigan—Ben & Jerry’s, Brewery Vivant, Crystal Mountain, Eileen Fisher, General Mills, JLL, Nestlé, Rockford Brewing Company, Staples and Worthen Industries—are calling on state lawmakers to strengthen the state’s renewable energy and energy optimization standards, and ultimately help bring more investment and jobs to Michigan.
In the letter to lawmakers, businesses call for an increase in the state’s renewable energy standard by at least five percent and endorsed a bipartisan proposal for a 15 percent RPS by 2021.
“We recognize the significant economic opportunity presented by renewable energy and energy efficiency standards and urge the legislature to strengthen Michigan’s renewable energy and energy optimization standards,” the businesses write.
They also urged lawmakers to retain language from the existing renewable energy standards, including requirements that ensure renewable energy is generated in Michigan and that independent power producers generate a portion of clean energy in the state. Indeed, without these changes, the proposed Senate bills will not drive economic development and new investment.
Investment in clean energy helps reduce costs for ratepayers and prevents utilities from needing to build new power plants. A Ceres report shows that strong renewable portfolio standards help utilities transition to renewable energy and reap energy efficiency savings. New analysis also found that in 2014 alone, energy efficiency generated over 3,100 new jobs and over $200 million in new income in the state. The proposed 15 percent renewable energy standard will spur additional economic growth throughout the state.
Michigan can do more to increase clean energy deployment. Businesses are calling on lawmakers to invest in the future.