Friday, February 17, 2012

Michigan LCV: Renewable energy could mean 21,000 Michigan jobs

By Ryan Werder, Michigan League of Conservation Voters
Posted Feb. 13, 2012
Reprinted with permission

On Feb. 8, 2012, the Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC) released a fascinating report on renewable energy jobs in Michigan. We'll summarize it in a sentence: Renewable energy manufacturing in Michigan could become a $4.9 billion industry supporting 21,000 jobs by 2015.*

At this point we're talking about big numbers, so please take a moment to pause and reflect on the thousands of families whose lives would improve if they were just one of those 21,000 new jobs. Exciting, right? It is sometimes too easy to get lost in the statistics of asthma rates from coal, jobs from new clean energy projects, billions of dollars in the budget, etc. If we don't remember the faces behind the statistics from time to time, we risk forgetting why we spend so much time researching them in the first place.

Anyway, back to the question of what to do with these crucial numbers in this report. As we've discussed previously, Michigan citizens have the unique opportunity to decide if they want to reach for a future that includes these new clean energy jobs. We firmly believe that an increased Renewable Energy Standard (RES) that is proposed for this November’s ballot would guarantee that future by ensuring that Michigan achieves 25 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2025.**

Renewable energy manufacturing, installation, and maintenance jobs will go where the demand is. Just because MSU beat Ohio State at basketball this weekend doesn't mean we're beating the state of Ohio in the fight for more jobs; they have a renewable energy standard of their own that is out-rebounding us for jobs. We can begin to box them out with this ballot initiative.

For more on the success stories already in Michigan based on clean energy, check out my live-tweeting from the EIBC's launch in the State Capitol.***

So you don't miss it in the future, you can follow us in the future by clicking here.

* Click here for the LCV's Feb. 12 post, "New Advanced Energy Business Coalition Strengthens Renewables' Political Voice."

** See Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs on this ballot initiative.

*** Click here for more Twitter updates.

Visit the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Web site for more articles and political news related to environmental topics.

Michigan LCV Action alert: Protect Natural Resources Trust Fund

In 1976, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund was created to acquire and develop outdoor recreation property with the proceeds of royalties from oil and gas wells drilled on public land.

In 1984, the citizens of Michigan voted the Trust Fund into the Constitution to protect it from politically-motivated legislators.

Now, in 2012, some legislators want it back.

The Natural Resources Trust Fund Board recently approved 41 projects in 25 counties that will provide outdoor recreation opportunities and create jobs in dozens of local townships.

Two-thirds of the funding will go directly to local projects, and the rest will protect new state recreation land.

State legislators, however, are threatening to deny some of these projects. In 2010, the Trust Fund received a record infusion of money from gas and oil leases, and some legislators have other ideas for the money than outdoor recreation.

Please tell Representatives Jon Bumstead (R - Newago) and Stephen Lindberg (D - Marquette) -- House Appropriations Natural Resources Sub-Committee Chair and Vice Chair -- to reject any attempt to interfere with the Trust Fund and to immediately pass HB 5364 to fund these projects.

Click here to take action.

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