Michigan needs forward-thinking energy reforms to provide affordable electricity for residents and businesses and to attract the kind of investment that will create more good-paying jobs and turn our economy around. Taking no action will be the most expensive option for Michigan businesses and residents.
The Michigan House recently approved a three-part plan designed to jumpstart Michigan's economy. The bipartisan plan has three components - a renewable energy standard, energy efficiency measures and a strategy for building new power plants. These three pieces work together to move Michigan forward and secure our energy future.
The first part of the bipartisan House plan requires utilities to provide aggressive energy efficiency programs, and offers incentives to ensure utilities are invested in their success.
Improving energy efficiency is the fastest and most cost-effective way to move toward energy independence and reduce consumer costs. Requiring utilities to establish energy efficiency programs also has the potential to climinate the need for up to two power plants by 2015.
The second piece of the plan establishes a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of to percent by 2015. The RPS was drafted to create a competitive marketplace and has a cost-cap to prevent high rates. More than two dozen states are attracting thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in investment by requiring that a certain amount of their electricity come from clean, renewable sources. To capture these jobs and other economic benefits, Michigan must enact its own RPS.
Michigan has tremendous potential in this industry, particularly in wind energy and biomass. However, renewable energy providers are waiting for Michigan to establish an RPS before investing in our state. We simply can't afford to let this economic opportunity pass us by. We can...