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Granholm Touts Big Plans for Green Jobs

Conference address outlines steps to a clean-energy state

June 30, 2009 | By Jim Dulzo
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service

  Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm told a conference of clean-energy advocates that state policies are attracting new green jobs to Michigan.
LANSING—Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm wrapped up last month’s Green Today, Jobs Tomorrow Conference, held at the Lansing Center, with a speech about her administration’s efforts to build a clean-energy economy in Michigan. It drew a standing ovation from most of the 1,400 people who watched it.

However, the governor’s trademark optimism and can-do spirit was only part of what triggered the near sell-out crowd’s enthusiastic reaction to her talk.

Conference-goers were already bubbling over the many encouraging reports they heard from business and labor leaders, educators, policymakers, elected officials, and clean energy advocates during the conference panels. They were also still buzzing about the “Stand Tall, Michigan!” speech that White House Special Advisor on Green Jobs Van Jones gave a few hours earlier.

Add the fact that many of those listening to Ms. Granholm were aware of the fierce political backlash she’s facing for pointing the state toward clean-energy and away from fossil fuels—particularly new coal-fired power plants—and it adds up to the makings for a very warm reception.

The governor drew applause not only for reiterating the goal she declared during her February State of the State address—cutting fossil fuel used for electric generation in Michigan by 45 percent by 2020—but also for explaining in some detail how that plan can work. Given the positive information the conference-goers gleaned from a full day of clean energy panels and reports, they understood that the vision Ms. Granholm shared with them could soon become a reality.

Jim Dulzo is the Michigan Land Use Institute’s managing editor. Reach him at jimdulzo@mlui.org. Click here to view an archive of Great Lakes Bulletin News Service articles and videos about clean energy and coal in Michigan.

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