Michigan Businesses Proclaim Support for 100% Clean Electricity Legislation

Sep 27, 2023 9:40 AM ET
Campaign: State Policy

September 27, 2023 /3BL/ - As Michigan lawmakers debate ambitious climate and clean energy legislation this fall, fifteen businesses operating in the state today said they support an accelerated transition to 100% clean power that prioritizes affordability, equity, and job creation.

In a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state legislature, the companies urged passage of “strong, decisive clean energy policy” anchored by a plan to achieve 100% clean electricity to cut pollution while attracting investment into the state, creating good jobs, and reducing utility costs for businesses and homeowners. The letter was signed by Bell’s Brewery, Brewery Vivant, Broad Leaf Brewery + Spirits, CleanCapital, Crystal Mountain Resort, IKEA US, New Belgium Brewing, Nexamp, REI, Sealed, Siemens, Trane Technologies, Uplight, Walker-Miller Energy Services, and Worthen Industries.

“Passing legislation to achieve 100% clean energy while prioritizing affordability, equity, and job creation is an important step toward building a more just net zero economy that will enhance the vitality, competitiveness, and growth of our state,” the letter said. “We stand ready to work with you and offer our experience, expertise, and partnership in passing this important legislation.”

Companies increasingly support clean energy policies not only to reduce climate pollution that threatens their operations, but because they bring significant business and economic benefits. According to a recent analysis conducted by 5 Lakes Energy and the MI Energy Innovation Business Council, the legislation would create nearly 160,000 jobs, increase Michigan’s GDP 2.5% by 2050, and save households $145 in energy costs annually by 2035.

“For more than three decades, Bell’s Brewery has understood that operating sustainably is critical for the long-term resilience of our business, and we have seen positive effects as a result," said Carrie Yunker, Executive Vice President, Bell’s Brewery. We believe a potent mix of public policy and private investment will bring similar benefits to Michigan’s entire economy. We strongly support a 100% clean energy policy in Michigan to bring new investment to our communities, reduce costs for both households and businesses, and ensure that the state meets its crucial climate targets.”

"As Michigan faces the accelerating effects of a changing climate, our state must take aggressive action to adopt the proven technologies necessary to build a low-carbon energy future,” said Jim MacInnes, chairman, Crystal Mountain Resort. “By taking action now to adopt a 100% clean electricity plan, Michigan lawmakers can protect this beautiful part of the country, grow our economy, and ensure that our state remains an attractive destination for future generations."

“From solar panels on our facilities to our fuel-efficient vehicle fleet, Worthen Industries has proven that we can play a critical role in the U.S. supply chain while taking action to reduce our emissions,” said Shaye Hardner, sustainability manager, Worthen Industries. “That is why we know that a 100% clean energy standard will not only reduce Michigan’s impact on the climate but also have a significant and positive impact on the economy. We urge lawmakers to pass clean energy legislation this year and position the state to continue thriving as an industrial leader long into the future.”

"By passing ambitious clean energy policy, Michigan can provide crucial support to the energy workforce of the future and opportunities in communities of all types. Walker-Miller Energy Services urges lawmakers to approve legislation this fall that will invest in Michigan's workforce and its communities, benefiting state and local economies alike,” said Carla Walker-Miller, CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services.

The legislation under consideration by the Michigan legislature would codify into law many aspects of Gov. Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan, which was released in 2022 and was also welcomed by Michigan businesses as an important tool to guide climate, public health, and economic development policy in the state.

In addition to the 100% clean electricity standard, the businesses said they support legislative proposals such as:

  • Improving the state’s energy waste reduction standard;
  • Empowering the state’s utility oversight commission to consider factors like affordability, climate, and equity in decision-making;
  • Maximizing opportunities to take advantage of federal clean energy investments from the federal Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act;
  • And updating zoning laws to streamline the permitting and siting of renewable energy projects.

"Michigan is ideally positioned to take advantage of the surge of federal and private investment into climate solutions and clean energy,” said Alli Gold Roberts, senior director of state policy at Ceres, the sustainability nonprofit that organized the letter. “Ceres and the businesses we work with urge Michigan lawmakers to approve a 100% clean electricity standard and additional ambitious policy measures that will harness this opportunity to create jobs, reduce costs, create opportunity, and build on the state’s industrial legacy.”

About Ceres

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

Media Contact: Helen Booth-Tobin, booth-tobin@ceres.org, 617-247-0700 ext. 214