February 14, 2013

Michigan Governor Hearings on Energy Future Must Lead to Policy in 2014

Statement By Steve Frenkel, Union of Concerned Scientists

LANSING (February 14, 2013) – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) recently announced that he will use 2013 to initiate a conversation about energy policy before proposing legislative policies in 2014. This conversation will consist of a series of seven public forums across Michigan hosted by the Michigan Public Service Commission. The first public forum is today at the Library of Michigan in Lansing.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) believes the governor must introduce legislation in early 2014 to keep Michigan as a clean energy leader. Below is a statement by Steve Frenkel, director of UCS’s Midwest office:

“I am hopeful that Gov. Snyder will use the public hearings to keep the latest scientific analysis at the forefront of the process to move Michigan’s energy policy forward and that we can expect clean energy legislation in the first couple months of 2014.

“Two key policies -- the renewable energy standard and the energy efficiency standard -- keep Michigan on track towards a clean, reliable and affordable energy future. These clean energy standards help grow Michigan’s economy by creating jobs, lowering costs, and improving public health and the environment. However, both are set to expire in 2015.

“Unless the state’s leaders act soon, Michigan will likely fall further behind other states with stronger clean energy policies. If the current clean energy policies are left to expire in 2015, Michigan’s clean energy future will certainly be in jeopardy.

“Not only is it critical that Michigan renew its commitment to clean energy development but the state should aim high in order to reap all of the benefits of its ample clean energy resources.  In fact, Michigan’s current renewable energy standard already lags behind other Midwestern states with more ambitious requirements. Michigan should consider similar standards if the state is to remain competitive in this sector.

“To sustain this growth, Michigan’s clean energy businesses need certainty that clean energy legislation will be passed in 2014 to continue investing and building a clean energy economy in Michigan.”