Thursday, November 08, 2007

Granholm calls for renewable energy portfolio standard

Today the Governor was in Detroit meeting with various companies that are working in alternative energy, and afterwards she had this to say-

After hosting a round-table discussion with alternative energy companies in downtown Detroit this morning, she called for Michigan to join 25 other states in adopting a so-called renewable energy portfolio standard -- which would require a certain amount of energy used in the state to come from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass.

"We have the assets to be a leader in this sector," she said. "The fact that we don't have the policy is really unfortunate."

The lack of policy is on the mind of business, too. Yesterday in Grand Rapids, another group of business leaders called for a REPS for the state.

A select group of manufacturers and educators attending the event at Cascade Engineering on Wednesday said the state needs legislation mandating power providers to get more electricity from renewable resources. Lack of the law, called a renewable portfolio standard, is chilling investment in the state's nascent industry.

Granholm told them to get together and bug those lawmakers. GR Mayor George Heartwell knows the score on that one.

When Heartwell complained state legislators were "bumbling along" on the badly needed renewable energy standard, Granholm challenged the mayor and the region's manufacturers to pressure the Legislature to back such a bill.

"It's easier to get to 100 percent renewable energy," Heartwell said with a laugh.

Probably true, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. After all, there is already legislation sitting there, just waiting to be acted on.

Enter Senator Jim Barcia, who is sponsoring such a bill, and wrote about it here back in August.

Recent studies suggest that implementing a modest RPS could lead to the creation of thousands of jobs, and would help to keep a portion of the more than $18 billion annually we spend on out-of-state energy sources here in Michigan. 

I believe that a mandated standard of 13% by 2015 and 20% by 2020 will create jobs in Michigan and help turn our economy around. By passing an aggressive renewable standard we will be sending a signal to manufacturers of renewable generation equipment that Michigan is serious about renewable energy.

Create thousands of jobs. Save money. Make money. Revitalize and diversify Michigan's economy. Be the leader in an exploding field that has both nationwide and global demand.

Hmmmm. The benefits to Michigan are glaringly obvious. Now, why do you suppose that Senate Republicans won't act on this legislation?