Michigan Rejects Renewable Energy

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted June 28, 2012

From Michigan comes strange news—a movement actively opposing renewable energy policymaking.

Michigan’s 25×25 drive would clear the way for all energy providers in that state to either manufacture or buy at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, and they would have to meet this level by 2025. Sounds quite reasonable.

But a mixed group of business and government officials, the Clean Affordable Renewable Energy (CARE) for Michigan Coalition (now that’s a mouthful…) is dead against the drive. Their argument? I’m sure we’ve not heard this one before: it is too expensive for consumers.

Currently, energy operators in Michigan abide by a 2008 state ruling that asked all energy facilities to generate 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015. However, Michigan’s actual renewable energy usage hovers around the 4 percent mark.

The Coalition defends itself, saying it isn’t against raising this percentage.

From The Detroit News:

“We are not opposed to renewable energy.” said Megan Brown, a spokeswoman for the CARE for Michigan Coalition. “We are opposed to cementing it into the state’s constitution. It limits flexibility for the future.”

The counterpoint view comes from Clean Water Action, a D.C.-based group that strongly supports 25×25.

Jon Scott, spokesman for Clean Water Action, commented:

“The question we are gathering signatures for is pretty straightforward. It’s about creating jobs … and not depending on technology of a century ago, clean water and clean air. These are investments that pay for themselves very quickly.”

Utilities like Consumers Energy believe the measure is possible at an affordable rate. But Michigan has a long way to go to even satisfy current legislation. Maybe 25×25 will create the necessary movement.

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