The quest to boost Michigan's Renewable Portfolio
Standard (RPS) from the current 10% to 25% by 2025 has won a thumbs-up from the
United Auto Workers (UAW).
The suggested change, which won a spot on the state's
November election ballot this summer after a campaign by Michigan Energy,
Michigan Jobs, will help create thousands of new jobs and reduce electricity
costs for in-state manufacturers, says UAW.
The union says: "The ballot proposal to increase
Michigans renewable energy standard to 25 percent by 2025 will create at least
74,000 Michigan jobs that cant be outsourced, including construction,
manufacturing, operations and maintenance jobs, according to a recent study by
MSU economists and academics. If Michigan's manufacturing talent, know-how and
capacity was factored in, the number of jobs could reach 94,000."
In addition, it notes: "Proposal 3 will rein in
rising energy costs for consumers and businesses. The Michigan Public Service
Commission issued a report earlier this year showing that renewable energy now
costs $58 per megawatt/hour less than the cost of building a new coal plant.
The Illinois Power Agency found that states renewable energy standard played a
dramatic role in reducing electric energy prices and saved $176 million."
Proposal 3 requires that 25% of the state's power be
generated by wind, solar, biomass or hydropower by 2025. (If the referendum is
approved, utilities would be required to source 25% of their electricity from
renewables by 2025).
More than 30 states have measures similar to the one
being considered in Michigan, including Illinois, Ohio and Minnesota.
To get the measure on the November ballot, Michigan
Energy, Michigan Jobs gathered close to 530,000 signatures, far beyond the
minimum of 322,609 it needed.
It managed to do this despite a disinformation campaign organized by the
Chamber of Commerce and some Michigan utilities.