Proposal 3: Creating a renewable energy standard - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Proposal 3: Creating a renewable energy standard

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(09/24/12) - We are taking a closer look at the state wide proposals on the November ballot. Last week, we told you about Proposals 2 and 4. This week, it's Proposal ,  which asks voters to establish a standard for renewable energy.

Republican Representative Ken Horn of Frankenmuth chairs Michigan's energy policy committee. He's also part of the team opposing the passage of proposal three that would set a renewable energy standard by the year 2025 and place it in the constitution. "This will be death warrant for industry in the state of Michigan. If you etch this into the constitution, we will have no choice to make some very tough decisions on how you're going to implement this. It's not as easy as they are trying to tell us."

Under current Michigan law, by the year 2015, public utility companies will be required to get 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources like wind and solar. Proposal 3 calls for an even higher requirement.

"This proposal would increase that by 25 percent by the next 15 years or so. One of the things you will see in the language is that it prevents the utility companies from getting the money to move from wind power by raising the rates on people who buy the energy," said UM-Flint Professor Marcus Paroske.

Supporters say the 25 by 25 standard would significantly boost Michigan's economy - campaign ads claim it would create more than 90,000 and as reduce air pollution and other hazards coming from traditional power plants.

"Both the jobs and health are important, we spend $1.7 billion a year importing coal from other states than Michigan, that money goes out of state, and stays out of state. Switching to renewable energy with instruction and manufacturing here in Michigan substituting that for buying coal is a significant economic benefit," said supporter Douglas Jester of Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs.

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