Mich. coalition calls for higher RPS

By Anna Austin | January 30, 2012

A growing number of Michigan businesses, agriculture, health care and labor professionals are working to raise Michigan’s current renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 10 percent by 2015, and are calling on the public’s support of a ballot proposal.

Titled “Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs,” the main impetus of the proposal to raise the RPS to 20 percent by 2025 is the high number of jobs that would be created—more than 44,000, according to the coalition—and $10 billion in new state investments. Those benefits come in addition to more clean energy development, as Michigan spends $1.8 billion on coal imports each year.

Right now, renewable energy in Michigan accounts for about 3.6 percent of energy used in the state. As further evidence that a higher RPS is achievable, the coalition has pointed out that neighboring Canadian province Ontario already gets 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources.

“This proposal to increase Michigan’s renewable energy standard creates new jobs and new opportunities in one of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy today,” said Mark Schauer, national co-chair of the Blue Green Alliance’s Jobs21! Campaign. “It creates jobs and protects consumers from excessive rate increases, making this proposal a win-win for workers and rate-powers.”

The coalition is urging the public to get involved to help get the proposal on the November 2012 ballot. To learn ways to becoming involved, click here