Friday, December 01, 2006

Granholm challenges new alternative fuels panel

Wasting no time. At this rate she will have all those campaign promises fufilled by January.

LANSING, Mich. - A fired-up Gov. Jennifer Granholm challenged members of the newly created Michigan Renewable Fuels Commission to "think big" and "shoot the moon" as they devise strategies for promoting the state's production and distribution of alternative fuels.

"This is our moment, our road map to be the state that is known for renewable energy and renewable fuels," Granholm told them Thursday during the commission's inaugural meeting.

Granholm said Michigan, with its long-standing association with the automotive industry and its huge and diverse farm economy, is a natural to become the nation's leader in developing and producing such biofuels as ethanol and biodiesel.

"We don't want to just copy what other states have done," she said. "We want to take it bigger and bolder than that.

"So that is my charge, in addition to the charges that you already have before you - to think big. Think Michigan on the cover of Newsweek for having led the nation in how to do this."

Granholm signed the commission into law in July as part of a seven-bill package designed to spur the growth of the state's young renewable fuels industry and bolster its agricultural industry while helping the United States reduce its dependence on foreign oil.

The 26-member bipartisan panel of state officials, business leaders, farmers and university researchers is led by Mitch Irwin, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture. The commission is required to provide its findings and recommendations to the governor and the Legislature by July 7.

Great idea. Anyone notice those gas prices starting to creep up again?