An environmental group says Michigan's economy would get a boost if it relied more on renewable energy sources.
The Michigan Environmental Council says a study it commissioned with Michigan State University projects at least 74,000 new jobs and billions of dollars in new investments if voters approve the 'Michigan Energy-Michigan Jobs' ballot proposal in November.
The measure would require state utilities to create 25% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
The council's Hugh McDiarmid says a transition away from coal to renewables makes sense.
"We're spending $1.8 billion every year buying coal from out-of-state, and we'd like to keep that money in Michigan's economy creating in-state jobs building and installing and maintaining renewable energy systems," he says.
Opponents say the proposal amounts to a $12-billion increase in energy costs and won't create jobs. MSU Trustee Joel Ferguson criticizes the school for getting involved in electoral politics and doubts the job projections.