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Mon July 27, 2009
State House Democrats unveil energy efficiency legislation
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – State House Democrats say Michigan needs tougher energy standards to attract renewable energy businesses to the state. The lawmakers have unveiled legislation that would require 30% of the state's energy come from renewable sources by 2025.
Lawmakers in Lansing have stressed time and time again Michigan is in a unique position to house wind turbine and solar panel manufacturers at empty auto plants. They say wind turbines need drive trains and many other parts auto suppliers and workers are already equipped to make.
But State Representative Mark Meadows says the manufacturers need Michigan to have more aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standards - or RPS - to insure future growth in the state.
"The companies that would ordinarily locate here, with a greater demand, are telling us that," he says. "And that's why we need to move on this now - they need the RPS in order to invest in Michigan in the production of these type of facilities."
But Michigan's oil and coal producers say their industry is ready to expand and create jobs now, and the state should not put all its energy into the wind.