Michigan’s Energy Future

Rooftop solar panel installation

Michigan is in a unique position to maximize carbon reductions achieved through the renewable energy and energy efficiency building blocks. Strategies that fall within these building blocks include demand-side energy efficiency programs, renewable distributed generation, and smart grid enhancements.

Utilities are already on track to meet Michigan’s “10 percent renewable energy by 2015” mandate and there have been ongoing discussions in the state legislature around expanding the Michigan Renewable Energy Standard (RES) and Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) going forward. Governor Snyder has been supportive of these efforts. A broad collaboration of groups, including Clean Water Action, organized as the Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs coalition has successfully laid the groundwork of support for renewable energy and energy efficiency across Michigan.

Unfortunately, Michigan’s legislature, led by Representative Aric Nesbitt, opposes the expansion of Michigan’s Renewable Energy Standard and even looks to redefine renewable energy to include the burning of industrial waste and refuse. Clean Water Action vehemently opposes this legislation and is fighting to stop its passage to protect the Great Lakes and the health of Michiganders.

Tell your Representative that HB 4297 and the Nesbitt energy plan is a step in the wrong direction, instead of a step toward making us a leader in clean energy policy.

Additionally, Clean Water Action Michigan undertook a successful effort to educate the public and a wide range of constituency groups on the importance of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and generated thousands of public comments in support of the rules. To date, more than 50,000 public comments of support have been submitted to the EPA by Michigan residents.

The combination of the looming implementation of the EPA Clean Power Plan and the uncertainty of Michigan’s state energy policy makes 2016 an integral year for Michigan’s energy future. The Great Lakes and the health of Michiganders depend on our ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from traditional energy production like coal and natural gas. Increasing renewable energy generation and expanding energy efficiency programs protects our state from the negative impacts of carbon intensive energy production. To protect Michigan for future generations, we have to push our state toward a clean energy future.