Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs

Creating a Clean Energy Future: Michigan’s Renewable Energy Ballot Initiative


More than 1.5 million voters in Michigan said “Yes” to renewable energy by voting in favor of Proposal 3, a stronger state renewable electricity standard that would have required utilities to generate 25 percent of the state’s power from clean, renewable sources such as wind, solar, and biomass by 2025.

Unfortunately, it was not enough to overcome the tens of millions of dollars spent by big utilities and fossil fuel interests on misleading attack ads and a barrage of misinformation.

Opposition groups — including the state’s two largest utilities and Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by oil and chemical industry billionaires David and Charles Koch — spent more than $35 million to manipulate public opinion and mislead Michigan voters, outspending initiative supporters by a factor of at least three to one.

What's next for renewable energy in Michigan?

The good news is that the next opportunity to move Michigan to a clean energy economy is already here. Governor Snyder will be announcing his plan for Michigan’s energy future soon and we want to make sure he includes an increase in renewable energy in his plan.

More than 200 Michigan scientists, engineers, economists, and technical and health professionals agree that increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent by the year 2025 is an achievable and affordable way to create jobs, spark new investment in the state’s economy, and protect public health and the environment. 

That's why we need to ask the governor to include such a standard in his plan. Let’s work together to move Michigan toward a cleaner, healthier energy future! 

Background: Michigan's Renewable Ballot Initiative

Proposal 3 would have required that 25 percent of the state’s electricity comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and biomass by 2025.

Michigan's renewable energy ballot initiative offered a historic opportunity to revitalize the state’s economy, create thousands of new jobs, improve public health, and protect the environment.

More than 200 Michigan scientists, engineers, economists, and technical and health professionals signed an open letter in support of ramping up Michigan’s renewable electricity standard to 25 percent by 2025.

What are the Benefits of Increasing Renewable Energy in Michigan?

  • Thousands of New Michigan Jobs

New renewable energy development in Michigan will create thousands of new jobs in construction, operations, manufacturing, and finance. What’s more, the initiative provides incentives for energy companies to hire Michigan workers when they build new clean energy projects like wind farms or solar arrays

Learn more: Wind Companies Ready to Create Jobs in Michigan (The Equation)

  • More than $10 Billion in New Investment in Michigan

Michigan currently imports the vast majority of its energy, sending billions of dollars — and the jobs they create — to other states for coal. The state's two largest utilties, Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy, both depend heavily on imported coal for electricity production and together spent more than $1 billion in 2010 to import coal from other states.

Increasing renewable energy in Michigan would keep billions of dollars in Michigan instead and create a thriving clean energy industry that would spur innovation, attract new investments, and boost the state’s economy for years to come.

Learn more: Burning Coal, Burning Cash in Michigan (The Equation)

  • Cleaner, Healthier Air

Most of Michigan’s electricity comes from coal, a dirty energy source that pollutes the air and environment with toxins. Increasing Michigan’s renewable energy supply would reduce the need for this polluting energy source, improving air quality and public health.

  • Affordable, Reliable Clean Energy

To protect consumers, the ballot initiative limits utility companies’ ability to raise rates on consumers to 1 percent in any year. Studies by independent economists predict that this proposal would cost the average Michigander, at most, $15 per year — $1.25 per month.

Learn more: Michigan’s 25 Percent Renewable Electricity Standard is Good for Consumers (The Equation)

You Can Help Support Clean, Renewable Energy in Michigan.

The Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs Coalition

Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs is a bipartisan coalition of Michigan businesses, labor organizations, health care advocates and other groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists. The coalition supports the ballot proposal to increase Michigan’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent by 2025 and offers additional information about the initiative, including the specific language of the ballot proposal and a state-by-state map of current renewable electricity standards.

Additional Resources

We Need Your Support
to Make Change Happen

We can shift our nation away from dirty fossil fuels and toward cleaner, renewable sources of power—but not without you. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.