Howard A. Learner Statement on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s Energy and Environment Message

November 28, 2012



Gov. Snyder Spot On: Energy and Environment Inseparably Integrated

Energy Efficiency is Key; Governor Must Be Stronger on Renewables


HICKORY CORNERS, Mich. – Today, Governor Rick Synder outlined his vision for Michigan’s energy and environmental future which includes an increased role for natural gas, robust energy efficiency standards, and land and water use decisions based upon an ecosystem approach. The Governor’s vision was short on details about renewable energy projects, like those that have already created thousands of jobs in Michigan while improving environmental quality, but was a positive start.

“Gov. Snyder highlighted that energy policy and environmental policy are integrated, which is an extraordinarily important starting point for advancing Michigan’s energy future,” said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

Learner offered his response to several topics addressed by Gov. Snyder.

On energy efficiency:

“Energy efficiency is the best, fastest, cheapest and least-polluting way to meet our energy needs. It’s a no brainer. The Governor’s call to expand programs like Michigan Saves is a strong step in the right direction.”

On renewable energy:

“Unfortunately, Governor Synder did not mention the words ‘wind’ or ‘solar’ during his remarks. When talking about energy that’s good for the environment and good for jobs, the discussion begins with more renewables.”

“Our report, The Solar and Wind Energy Supply Chain in Michigan, found 250 Michigan businesses engaged in the wind and solar supply chains. Old line Michigan manufacturers are re-tooling to make equipment for growing renewable energy markets.”

On the future of Michigan’s renewable energy portfolio:

“Renewable energy supporters from across Michigan look forward to substantive discussions on improving the state’s renewable portfolio standard. Gov. Snyder can lead improvement of Michigan’s renewable energy standard through the legislature.”

On protecting The Great Lakes:

“Gov. Synder’s call for a Great Lakes summit focusing on water use issues and the challenge we face with perils ranging from oil spills to invasive species is spot on.”

On land and water use decisions:

“The Governor believes water and land use decisions should be based upon an ecosystem approach. ELPC has experience making that happen in other states and we look forward to working with Michigan to make it a reality.”


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