In Michigan
6:18 pm
Tue October 6, 2009

Lansing clean coal rally draws huge crowd

LANSING, MI – A huge crowd gathered on the state Capitol lawn Wednesday to call on state regulators to approve permits for new coal-fired power plants.

Most of the men wore hardhats and work boots. They say new power plants would create new construction jobs.

The state will have lost an estimated one-million jobs by the end of next year. House Speaker Andy Dillon says part of that job loss comes from Governor Granholm blocking construction of more coal plants.

"Six weeks before an election, the bureaucrats stepped in the way and took it out from under us," he said. "We have got to get the bureaucrats to live up to this deal so you can get back to work and we can build base-load in this state. Thank you for coming today - keep the heat on, because we want to build them."

But environmentalists say the state needs to focus on creating green jobs - such as manufacturing wind turbines - rather than continuing to rely on fossil fuels.