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Granholm Says Michigan on Cusp of Green Industrial Revolution

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

April 18, 2008

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today recognized next week's celebration of Earth Day, pointing out that Michigan is using every tool at its disposal to encourage home-grown renewable energy sources that will improve the environment and create jobs.

"We are in the early stages of a green industrial revolution - everywhere across this nation and the globe, companies are racing to meet the demand for products that save energy and reduce use of foreign oil," Granholm said.  "Thanks to all of our great W's - wind, wood, water, workforce, wheels from the automotive industry, and even waste - Michigan is better positioned than perhaps any other state in the nation to turn our country's need to preserve the environment and reduce energy costs into jobs and economic growth."

Granholm also acknowledged bipartisan support for a comprehensive energy package in the state House and urged the Senate to move quickly to adopt an innovative Renewable Portfolio Standard - or RPS - that will help jumpstart the growth of alternative energy in Michigan.

"Passing an RPS is a critical first step to making Michigan a leader in this transformative industry," Granholm said.  "Companies that make alternative energy technology are looking to grow and expand in states that have made a commitment to use renewable sources for their energy needs.  So this week, the state House passed a strong, comprehensive energy package, and I am anxious to work with the Senate so we can enact this legislation at the earliest chance.  The longer we go without an RPS, the more companies will choose places other than Michigan for their growth."

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday morning and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available on the governor's Web site at ( www.michigan.gov/gov) for download, together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address is also available as a podcast on the Web site, as well as on iTunes and via RSS feed for general distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.  Links to the audio files and text of today's address follow.

GOVERNOR JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM
Radio Address - Earth Day and Alternative Energy, April 18, 2008

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov141_Full_231858_7.mp3
Edited:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov141_Edit_231860_7.mp3
Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov141_Quote_231861_7.mp3
 
Next Tuesday, millions of people around the globe will celebrate Earth Day.  It was first recognized globally in 1970, but Earth Day serves as a continual reminder to all of us that preserving our environment is not an option, it's an absolute necessity.

On this Earth Day - and every day - in Michigan, we're working to protect our environment, and to reduce global warming and end our dependence on expensive foreign oil by encouraging home-grown renewable energy sources that will make our state greener and create jobs here at home.

We are in the early stages of a green industrial revolution.  Everywhere across this nation and the globe, companies are racing to meet the demand for products that save energy and reduce use of foreign oil.  This is a unique opportunity for Michigan, and it couldn't come at a better time, given the challenges our manufacturing sector has faced.  And that's why I am working hard to make sure that Michigan is ready to capitalize on it.  Thanks to all of our great W's - wind, wood, water, workforce, wheels from the automotive industry, and even waste - Michigan is better positioned than perhaps any other state in the nation to turn our country's need to preserve the environment and reduce energy costs into jobs and economic growth.

To help jump start the growth of this new industry, we are now working to pass an aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard - it's called an RPS - that will ask our utility companies to generate more renewable energy.

Passing an RPS is a critical first step to making Michigan a leader in this transformative industry.  Companies that make alternative energy technology are looking to grow and expand in states that have made a commitment to use renewable sources for their energy needs.  So this week, the state House passed a strong, comprehensive energy package, and I am anxious to work with the Senate so we can enact this legislation at the earliest chance.  The longer we go without an RPS, the more companies will choose places other than Michigan for their growth.

In the meantime, I'm not sitting back.  I recently signed a number of other aggressive new tools the state can use to encourage renewable energy companies to choose Michigan.  And we're also aggressively using a wide array of financial incentives to attract renewable energy businesses to Michigan. 

When people ask me why I am so excited about the opportunities for renewable energy in Michigan, I usually borrow a line from Wayne Gretzky:  If you want to win, "don't skate to where the puck is - skate to where the puck is going."  And the puck is going to alternative energy.  A new, green economy is growing, green companies are growing, green industries are growing…the only question is where will they bloom?  I say we'll grow those green jobs here in Michigan.

In Michigan, Earth Day is Jobs Day, too.

Thank you for listening.

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