FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Clean Energy Now
December 19, 2013
It’s time to lead: Citizens Groups React to Gov. Snyder’s Energy Framework for Michigan
Clean Energy Now coalition calls for action on clean energy policies
LANSING – Citizen groups criticized Governor Rick Snyder today for failing to lead on clean energy when releasing his energy framework for Michigan. The comments came after the governor, the Michigan Energy office, and the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) wrapped up a yearlong discussion on the future of Michigan’s energy policies. The discussion compiled data and significant public comment on Michigan’s energy issues. Yet, the governor did not propose any specific changes to the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, casting doubt on whether he considered the recommendations from these statewide findings.
“Governor Snyder has done his due diligence and studied this issue intensely for over a year, now it’s time to lead,” said Tiffany Hartung, a Beyond Coal campaign representative for Sierra Club. “He must take action now to ensure that Michigan’s clean energy economy will grow and thrive. The longer we wait to increase these standards, the more businesses will start to close and lay off their workers after the state’s current renewable energy and energy efficiency standards are met in 2015.”
Michigan still gets more than half its electricity from coal-fired power plants while the national average is 38 percent. Burning coal is the number one source of mercury pollution in the Great Lakes, which leads to contamination in fish and consumption advisories. It is also the leading trigger of asthma attacks, costing Michiganders billions of dollars every year in health care costs associated with hospital admissions, respiratory issues and cardiovascular problems. Shifting to clean energy technologies will put a stop to public health problems and environmental issues caused by over-reliance on outdated, dirty energy.
“We expected Governor Snyder to outline concrete goals for how he will move Michigan’s energy policy forward,” said Clay Carpenter, campaign organizer for Clean Water Action. “Months of public participation, research and analysis has prepared the governor to make informed energy choices for Michigan, yet his announcement today fell short of providing specifics on what he plans to accomplish. Governor Snyder should send strong recommendations on expanding Michigan's renewable energy and energy efficiency standards to the legislature.”
During the yearlong energy discussion, Clean Water Action members and volunteers delivered 16,527 letters in support of renewable energy and energy efficiency to Governor Snyder and state lawmakers, presented technical testimony at the governor's energy forums, gave dozens of public comments at the energy forums and provided over 1100 public comments on the MPSC and Energy Office’s draft reports.
About Clean Energy Now: CEN is a coalition of groups that supports policies that will move Michigan beyond coal power and toward greater use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency as a way to protect the environment and build prosperity. Follow the campaign atCleanEnergyNowMI.org.