Michigan Conservative Energy Forum Calls on GOP Presidential Candidates to Support our Expanding Clean Energy Economy

GOP Hopefuls Gathering in Cleveland for Tonight’s First Debate

LANSING, Mich – As the GOP Presidential hopefuls gather in Cleveland tonight for the debate of the 2016 campaign season, Michigan Conservative Energy Forum (MCEF) leadership issued the following challenge to the candidates:

“For too long Republicans have allowed Democrats to claim clean energy policy as a red meat issue,” said MCEF Executive Director Larry Ward. “But across the country, the truth is, if new state energy policies are to emerge transitioning us towards more renewable energy production, it’s Republican Governors and lawmakers who are making true change happen.

“It’s a top priority for our own Governor Rick Snyder. Governor Snyder has championed clean energy policy, boldly offering a vision to take the state’s aging coal plants offline, and expand Michigan’s renewable energy generation and energy efficiency programs in a comprehensive policy that maintains reliability, adaptability, affordability, while protecting the environment.

“The truth is, moving our nation towards cleaner energy production is good for domestic job creation and state and local economic development – the sector already employs well over 300,000 Americans, more than 80,000 in Michigan alone,” Ward added. “Expanding clean energy policy will continue empowering local communities and strengthening national security.”

“Clean energy is also a winning issue. In Michigan, 90% of the state’s voters support more energy efficiency, and 84% support diversifying our energy portfolio to include more renewables,” said Jon Thebo Chairman of the Central Michigan University College Republicans. “And the numbers are even stronger among young people.”

Added Gabriel Leaf, Chairman of the University of Michigan College Republicans, “National polling shows numbers that are consistent with Michigan’s on energy policy. If we don’t seize this issue now, and include it in the GOP narrative, we risk alienating young voters, and future generations for whom this issue really matters.

Concluded Ward, “I urge all GOP Presidential candidates to embrace clean energy policies, and to develop platforms that articulate a vision to the American people.”