October 6, 2008
Granholm signs into law bipartisan package she proposed in January
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed into law a bipartisan energy package she proposed in her 2008 State of the State address that will create jobs, diversify Michigan's economy, and save customers money on their electric bills by ensuring that the bulk of Michigan's future energy needs are produced from renewable energy resources and energy efficiency savings.
"This comprehensive package will create tens of thousands of new energy jobs by making Michigan even more attractive to job-creating companies that are looking for a place to expand as they meet the growing demand for energy from renewable sources like wind and solar power," Granholm said. "It also helps reduce costs for our citizens by requiring new energy efficiency programs and reducing the need for additional coal-burning power plants."
The three-bill package signed by Granholm at two different events today includes a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that mandates 10 percent of the state's energy come from renewable sources by 2015, regulatory reform that protects Michigan ratepayers and allows utility companies to build new electricity generation in Michigan, and a requirement that utilities meet an additional 5.5 percent of Michigan's annual electricity demands through energy efficiency by 2015.
Granholm noted the energy package protects Michigan ratepayers' money by ensuring that the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies will save more money than they cost. This energy efficiency requirement is projected to save consumers and businesses $1.04 billion a year by 2025.
The package also includes an income tax credit to offset a portion of ratepayers' investments in renewable energy for Michigan and a "net metering" law that allows customers to sell renewable electricity they produce at their homes or businesses to their utility companies.
"This historic package is the result of compromise and hard work from a lot of people, including legislators, our Public Service Commission, the renewable energy industry, Michigan's utility companies, and so many more," Granholm said. "Together, we are sending a signal that Michigan is ready to build a bright future for our citizens by creating jobs, diversifying our economy, and meeting our 21st century energy needs while protecting both our pocketbooks and our planet."
The demand for green energy is skyrocketing as Americans grow more concerned about the impact of fossil fuels on climate change and our national security. The Michigan Public Service Commission estimates that Michigan currently spends $26 billion to import fossil fuels annually.
Granholm has argued that an RPS is essential for Michigan's economic future, because it will drive investment in this emerging industry. Venture capital firms and green energy manufacturers are investing billions of dollars in expanding capacity, but they generally invest only in states that have an RPS.
Two recent studies identified the tremendous job-creating package this type of policy can have for Michigan. The U.S. Department of Energy found that Michigan is one of only four states with the potential to create more than 30,000 manufacturing jobs in wind production alone, while the Center for American Progress estimates that Michigan can create more than 60,000 jobs by investing in wind, solar, biofuels and energy efficiency.
Green energy manufacturing is considered to be a perfect fit for Michigan given the state has superior tool and die, metal fabrication, and metal working capabilities; manufacturing expertise and facilities that can be retrofitted to produce things like wind turbines; a manufacturing supplier network that is already starting to supply green tech manufacturers; tremendous research and development expertise in our universities and corporate research centers; a world-class workforce; and an outstanding wind resource.
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