WAYNE — State Representatives Julie Plawecki (D-Dearborn Heights) and Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe), along with state Senator David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights) recently attended a town hall meeting focused on Michigan’s energy future and increasing the state’s use of clean, renewable energy.

“Michigan’s current clean energy policy expires this year, and the time to act is now to make electricity more affordable and grow our economy,” LaVoy said. “We have a real opportunity to grow Michigan businesses that are already manufacturing and installing products like energy efficient appliances and windows, and components for wind turbines and solar panels.”

Michigan’s current renewable energy and energy efficiency standards are set to expire at the end of this year, and state legislators and Gov. Rick Snyder are outlining options for the future of energy policy in Michigan.

“Since our clean energy policy was first passed in 2008, clean energy in Michigan has created thousands of jobs, reined in rising energy costs and reduced our dangerous reliance on coal and oil,” Plawecki said. “That’s why I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of legislation that would increase our renewable energy standard to 20 percent by 2022 and make Michigan a leader in reducing energy waste.”

The Powering Michigan’s Future legislative package, sponsored by LaVoy, Plawecki and Knezek, would:

  • Increase Michigan’s renewable energy standard to 20 percent by 2022
  • Double the energy efficiency standard
  • Eliminate the renewable energy surcharge
  • Control energy costs and ensure reliability and affordability

“As a United States Marine Corps veteran, I know first-hand that we place too many men and women into harm’s way to protect and transport fuel,” Knezek said. “By making the transition to clean, renewable sources of energy here at home, we can reduce our reliance on other nations and improve our national and economic security.”

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters (LCV) also participated in the town hall to express its support for the proposed legislation.

“We have tremendous opportunity to increase Michigan’s use of renewable energy — creating jobs, sparking investment and reducing pollution in the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said Charlotte Jameson, policy manager for Michigan LCV. “Michigan’s clean energy sector supports 20,000 jobs and $5 billion annually. The time is now to build upon this success.”