Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is far from energized about a proposed ballot measure that would obligate the state's utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.
The Associated Press reports that although the governor has yet to take a formal stand on the issue, he has concerns about the financial viability of using wind, solar, hydropower and biomass to meet Michigan's energy needs.
"I'm not sure on the face of it that it makes a lot of sense," Snyder told the AP during an interview at the Detroit Regional Chamber's annual Mackinac Policy Conference. The business interest group announced at the same conference that it opposes the measure.
An organization called Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs is conducting a petition drive to put the proposal before voters in November. They're asking Michiganders to adopt the renewable energy plan as an amendment to the state's constitution. The group claims the measure would bring $10 billion in investment to Michigan, promoting job growth without significantly increasing energy prices.
The Michigan Nurses Association also supports the measure and asserts that its passage would decrease asthma and lung disease in the state.
Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs claims Snyder supported renewable energy during his campaign for office, and criticized his comments at Mackinac Wednesday, saying the governor was "suffering from political amnesia."
Snyder's 2010 campaign website included a statement on global warming and a pledge "to protect Michigan's environment and create 'green collar' jobs."
In 2008, the state legislature approved a similar target of 10 percent renewable energy reliance by 2015 as part of a comprehensive energy package under Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
A spokesman for DTE Energy, one of the state's largest utilities, told The Huffington Post in an earlier interview that the company felt the "10 by 2015" policy offered "a balanced approach for meeting Michigan's energy needs and contributing to economic growth and environmental quality."
Alejandro Bodipo-Memba added the current law was working as intended, noting utilities were making progress toward meeting the target date. "We believe the results of compliance with the 2015 goal – including the impact on customer costs – should be evaluated before requiring a significantly higher standard."
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