Thousands of Signatures for Thousands of Jobs

Tags: Ballot Initiative, Energy Independence, Jobs, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy Standard

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On Friday, the Michigan Board of Canvassers gave the official go-ahead to begin circulating petitions for a new ballot initiative that will increase Michigan's renewable energy standard to 25% by 2025. Effectively, this means that 25% of all energy used in Michigan must be derived from renewable sources. The highlights can be found here.

This initiative, backed by the Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs coalition, is exciting for numerous reasons. A commitment to renewable energy is economically, socially, and environmentally beneficial for Michigan. In addition to the health benefits associated with adopting renewable energy, Michigan will reduce its energy dependence on other states and countries. By requiring that more of Michigan's energy be produced within state lines, thousands of jobs will emerge for residents. This new standard is an important step toward the end of energy outsourcing.

Widespread Support from Industry Leaders

The initiative has garnered support from an array of industry leaders as well as from local farmers

“The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 strongly supports strengthening Michigan’s clean renewable energy standard because it will create thousands of jobs right here in our state, where we have some of the best-trained workers in the world,” said John Hamilton, general vice president and business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324.

“Michigan farmers support renewable energy because it helps us protect the water, land and air that we need to grow crops today and into the future,” said Kent Humm, a seventh-generation farmer who is hosting four turbines on land he leased to Invenergy and DTE Energy, which are building Michigan’s largest wind farm in Gratiot County. “Renewable energy projects are being built on farms and rural communities across Michigan. They’re directly supporting farm families and rural communities.”

Thousands of Signatures for Thousands of Jobs

Before the initiative's potential can be realized, it needs thousands of signatures from supporters. Today, the language of the initiative was approved by the State Board of Canvassers. From here, it must garner 322,609 petition signatures in order to be included on the ballot next November. We're shooting for 500,000. If you'd like to be involved, please email us at info@michiganlcv.org.

What You Can Do

We want to make sure you know how to get your name on the petition for this pivotal ballot initiative! It is no exaggeration to say that this is the opportunity of the decade -- and it's in the hands of the people. Let's show our legislators that when it's up to us, we will get things done to protect our environment and improve the economic health of our state.

Stay tuned for updates regarding how you can get your name on the petition. You can follow us on Twitter at @michiganlcv and "Like" us on Facebook for quick updates. You can also visit MIenergyMIjobs.com for more information about the initiative.

We urge you to get involved in any way you can. If you'd like to find out more about what you can do, email us at info@michiganlcv.org.

This is exciting news -- tell your friends! We'll be writing again soon to let you know how things are progessing.

Posted by Jeff Sorensen, Michigan LCV Intern