Yesterday, under a beautiful summer day in Lansing, Michigan, more than 500 activists from all corners of the state lent their voices to a call for a massive investment in clean energy and moving the state beyond coal.
Clean Energy Now, a coalition made up of over 40 environmentalist groups including Sierra Club, organized this Rally for Clean Energy Jobs to support Michigan's clean energy future -- and as a grassroots response to the proposal of new coal plants in Michigan.
The rally speakers and activists in particular took aim at plans in Michigan to build at least six more massive coal plants.
These plants would eliminate any market for clean energy and derail Governor Jennifer Granholm's bold vision to put Michiganders to works producing a clean energy manufacturing boom, not only to meet the state's energy needs as the state retires its old fleet of coal plants, but also to export around the world to help other states and other countries do their part to cut pollution, including dangerous emissions of carbon dioxide.
At the rally, citizens spoke out for a clean energy economy in Michigan, which will create jobs and bring money into the state, rather than the construction of new coal plants, which will continue to weaken our economy.
Michigan residents want Gov. Granholm to get that message loud and clear: No more coal -- We want clean energy!
We also had a lot of fun -- as people listened to great musicians, browsed informational tables from various clean energy industries, used our communications tent to send in comments and letters to Governor Granholm, signed our clean energy petition, and even threw a few baseballs at dunk tank where we had folks dressed up as various dirty energy villains.
But clearly the fight for clean energy won't be over any time soon. For now, all eyes are on Michigan. Can it harness its legions of highly skilled workers and legendary manufacturing base into a clean energy power house, or will it go the route of 19th-century coal technology and export its dollars to line the coal barons' pockets in Appalachia?
Governor Granholm can help make this happen by choosing clean energy now instead of coal.