LANSING, MI – Governor Rick Snyder tonight paved the way for conservatives to reclaim the energy debate in his annual State of the State address, members of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum (MCEF) said.
“I applaud Gov. Snyder for laying out his vision to transition away from coal and toward greater use of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Larry Ward, executive director of the MCEF. “For too long, conservatives have sat on the sidelines when it comes to the energy policy debate. By leading on energy, Snyder is taking on issues that are important to conservatives like improving national security, protecting the Great Lakes and creating jobs and opportunities.”
Michigan’s current energy policy is set to expire this year. Recent economic impact studies conducted by The Hill Group, Inc. found that expanding renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in Michigan could lead to billions of dollars in economic impact and tens of thousands of new jobs.
“As a conservative, I commend Gov. Snyder for his effort to transition Michigan away from coal,” said Ed Rivet. “Transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy will reduce our reliance on foreign energy, which we currently spend $1 billion dollars on every day. Using renewable energy produced in Michigan will keep our money here, rather than sending it to countries that are hostile to our way of life.”
“Michigan currently gets more than half of its electricity from coal and that needs to change,” said Mark Huizenga, Mayor of Walker and MCEF leadership council member. “As a board member of the Asthma Network of West Michigan, I was pleased to hear Gov. Snyder focus on the positive health impacts of using more renewable energy. Transitioning from coal to clean energy is a common sense and forward-thinking strategy that will give us cleaner air and reduce asthma and lung disease for our kids, grandkids and future generations.”