November 14, 2007
Governor says addressing environmental challenges can provide economic opportunity
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today took a number of actions designed to both mitigate the impact of global climate change in Michigan and capitalize on the economic opportunity that addressing those changes will present for the state.
By executive order, Granholm created a Michigan Climate Action Council to develop a comprehensive climate action plan for the state. The plan will provide recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Michigan and will build upon previous measures to reduce the state's reliance on energy sources from outside its borders. By executive directive, the governor also directed her administration to do all it can to reduce its own energy consumption. In addition, Granholm announced that she will join governors from other Midwestern states tomorrow to adopt a regional platform for energy security and climate stewardship.
"Citizens across the country are grappling with the impact of global warming, the nation's reliance on foreign oil, the rising costs of fuel, and the impact those things have on both our environment and our economy," said Granholm. "Working to reduce global warming can both put people to work and protect our environment."
The Michigan Climate Action Council will be comprised of 35 representatives from public interest groups, environmental organizations, utilities, the manufacturing sector and other key industries, universities, and state and local government. The council will compile an inventory and forecast of greenhouse gas emissions in Michigan and produce a plan for reducing those gasses.
"The strategies and technologies we develop to address climate change can be opportunities for job growth and alternative energy industry growth in Michigan," said Granholm. "Developing clean renewable energy technologies will power Michigan into a future that will provide more energy security and reliability.
An interim report from the council that includes the list of policy recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including short, mid, and long-term reduction goals, will be submitted to the governor by April 30, 2008. A final report with a detailed analysis of specific recommendations is due by December 31, 2008.
The executive directive issued by Governor Granholm will require a 10 percent reduction in energy use by the end of 2008. The state will meet this new goal through the aggressive implementation of new energy efficiency measures. As part of the directive, the state will - wherever feasible - increase use of alternative fuels in its fleet of vehicles; develop a materials management plan to ensure environmentally sound purchasing, use, reuse and recycling of materials by state departments; and ensure that new state owned or leased buildings meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The state will also reduce its electrical energy purchases by 20 percent by 2015.
Tomorrow, the governor will travel to Wisconsin to join the Midwest Governor's Association in adopting a regional platform for energy security and climate stewardship.
"The Midwest can be either a big winner or the big loser in the energy and climate debate," said Granholm. "To win, we need strong regional innovation and collaboration, backed by strong and perhaps unprecedented federal actions and investment, to advance accelerated deployment of lucrative energy and climate technologies."
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