Rally for Clean Energy Jobs! July 29th in Lansing

July 8, 2009
Cassidy Edwards
cassidy.edwards@sierraclub.org
231 645 0863

Urgent: Rally for Clean Energy Jobs in Lansing Wednesday July 29
More dirty coal plants will jeopardize Michigan’s clean energy future

Wednesday July 29th over a thousand people will converge on the capitol steps in Lansing to support Governor Granholm’s stance on clean energy jobs to turn around Michigan’s economy. The rally will also make it clear that Michigan’s proposed coal plants jeopardize this clean energy future. Join your neighbors in this critical attempt to assure Michigan’s clean energy future and healthy economy. To find more information on the upcoming Rally for Clean Energy Jobs in Lansing or to learn other ways to take action on this critical issue go to www.cleanenergynowmi.org.

At the Rally for Clean Energy Jobs advocates will demand that Governor Granholm look at cleaner, more efficient energy options to meet Michigan’s energy needs instead of six proposed coal plants planned for Michigan, including Bay City and Rogers City. Plans for both plants are costly and fail to consider global warming emissions and threat to public health and natural resources.

The current estimate for the Wolverine Cooperative plant in Rogers City, for example, is over $1.2 billion to build—and costs are rising fast. Many of those costs will be passed on to ratepayers. Even after construction is finished, the Wolverine plant will continue to be a burden for consumers as it fails to take into account the imminent costs of carbon regulation. Emmy Lou Cholak, member of the Cherryland Electric Cooperative, is skeptical of this new proposed coal plant. “It’s pretty clear that the costs are going to go quite high, and they are going to be perpetuated even after the coal plant is completed. That’s going to come down on us, the consumers,” she says. Similar issues surround Consumer Energy’s proposed coal fired power plant in Bay City.

The Rally for Clean Energy Jobs will highlight the alternatives to coal that can meet our energy needs and save money while boosting Michigan’s economy, improving public health and combating global warming. Research by the Apollo Alliance shows that investing in renewable energy in lieu of coal technology could add almost $2 billion in economic activity to the state and create over 31,000 jobs.

From smog to mercury, coal-fired power plants are one of the largest sources of dangerous air pollution in the U.S. The consequences for human health are staggering. Pollution from coal-fired power plants, like the proposed Wolverine Cooperative and Consumers Energy plants, causes serious respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular disease, and in some cases even premature death. The detrimental affects of coal plants (even when they are marketed as clean coal), are particularly devastating in Michigan where the plants leave unsightly scars on our valuable Great Lakes coastlines, pollute our waters and contaminate our fisheries.

In her State of the State Address Governor Granholm promised, “We’ll be spending our energy dollars on Michigan wind turbines, Michigan solar panels, Michigan energy-efficient devices, all designed, manufactured and installed by Michigan workers.” The two proposed coal plants, if passed by the DEQ this month, could jeopardize Michigan’s clean energy future. The Rally for Clean Energy Jobs in Lansing Wednesday July 29 aims to prevent that from happening.

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