New Energy Proposal Opposed by Utility Union

Blue Green Alliance Member Opposed to 25 x 25 Ballot Initiative
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LANSING — In sharp contrast to the Blue Green Alliance’s endorsement of the 25 x 25 ballot initiative, the Utility Workers Union of America – a Blue Green Alliance member – clarified its position as being vehemently opposed to the November ballot proposal that would embed energy policy into the Michigan Constitution.

“This costly amendment to the Michigan constitution would eliminate flexibility that’s crucial to modern energy policy-making and ensuring consumers have safe, reliable, and affordable electricity,” said Mike Langford, national president of the UWUA. “By amending Michigan’s constitution, electric utilities would be forced to spend billions of dollars on current electric generation technology and could be prevented from investing in new, environmentally cleaner and more affordable technologies for the future.”

Supporters of the 25 x 25 ballot proposal want to amend the Michigan Constitution with a mandate that requires Michigan energy providers to produce 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, by 2025. If passed, Michigan would be the only state in the entire country to amend its constitution by ballot initiative to include Renewable Portfolio Standards.

“The 2008 law is expanding renewable energy the right way by requiring 10 percent of Michigan’s energy to come from renewable sources,” said Steve VanSlooten, national executive vice president of the UWUA. “This is the responsible way to expand renewable energy in Michigan without dramatically increasing the electric costs to residential and business customers.”

The UWUA participated in the launch of the Clean Affordable Renewable Energy (CARE) for Michigan campaign in June, which supports the comprehensive energy policy that passed the Michigan Legislature in 2008. The UWUA says Michigan energy providers are making good progress on meeting the current 10 percent renewable energy goal by 2015, when it will be reviewed. It opposes injecting energy policy into the constitution and doubling the standard before the current goal can be reached and reviewed.

The CARE coalition is fighting to ensure reliable, clean, affordable energy for Michigan families and businesses. The diverse coalition, including labor and business, Michigan energy providers, citizen groups and local officials, supports the state’s landmark 2008 energy policy, which requires energy providers to generate 10 percent of Michigan’s electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2015.

Michigan utilities are halfway there, thanks to current challenging but realistic goals. The coalition opposes efforts to alter the state constitution to inject the arbitrary, ill-considered 25 percent renewable energy standard and urges Michigan residents to support the state’s current reasonable and responsible standard.

More information about the CARE for Michigan Coalition can be found at http://www.CAREforMich.com. Follow the Coalition on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/CAREforMich, or on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/CAREforMich.

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