Monday, October 27, 2008

Granholm Adds Energy to the Dept. of Labor and Economic Growth

This will streamline the efforts to make renewable energy a main focus of diversifying Michigan's economy, bringing together programs that are a bit scattered between agencies right now. Breaking news -

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is restructuring the state's government to give renewable energy initiatives a heightened role.

Granholm has issued an executive order dictating that the Department of Labor and Economic Growth be renamed the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG). The reorganized department will oversee the state's alternative energy and energy efficiency efforts.

The reorganization comes about a month after Granholm signed the state's renewable portfolio standard, which requires that utility companies get 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

This should save money by eliminating redundancies and bringing together the people who are working to bring new companies and jobs to the state. If they are all under one roof (more or less) - things will move faster for us, and with a shaky national economy that will be scrambling for any investment dollars it can get, we need to be positioned to make it as easy as we can to bring those opportunities here.

The reorganization will include the No Worker Left Behind green jobs training initiatives; Michigan’s new energy efficiency building code; the Public Service Commission and energy efficiency programs; the Office of Sustainability; the Renewable Fuels Commission; and the State Energy Office, all working in tandem with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) tax incentives and attraction efforts.

Granholm said the reorganization and the partnership with NextEnergy will allow the state to build strong, collaborative relationships with the private sector and state universities and community colleges, coordinate efforts across state government – eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies – and create new opportunities for our research and development centers.

Renewable energy is where it's at. Ask Senator Obama. He will make this a federal priority if he is elected - and Michigan needs to be ready. This move will help a great deal. Caveat: At the bottom of the state release is this-

Executive Order 2008-20 stands unless rejected by the state Senate and House of Representatives. It takes effect December 28, 2008.

Will a certain body of the Legislature prevent us from saving money and creating jobs? Let's hope not.