Enviro Group: MSU Study Shows Economic Benefits of More Renewable

Aug 10, 2012

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.