May 20, 2012 - The campaign season is bringing hypercharged political sound bites about environmental progress even though there's strong public support for cleaner air that's healthier to breathe, cleaner water that's safer to drink and enjoy for recreation, and fewer dangerous toxics in our communities. The best news is that environmental progress is being achieved together with the growing green economy that is helping drive Michigan's and the nation's economic recovery. Energy efficiency improvements, wind and solar energy development, more fuel efficient cars and modern high-performance rail development are good for job creation, good for economic growth and good for the environment.
Nonetheless, some defensive polluters and politicized critics are hauling out the old myth and false dichotomy that we must choose between job creation and environmental progress. That wasn't true 30 years ago, and it isn't true today. Nor do most people believe in that canard. Let's look at the facts and progress of innovative clean technologies here.
Energy efficiency improvements are creating jobs, saving people and businesses money on their utility bills, keeping money in Michigan's economy, and reducing pollution. Dow, Johnson Controls and Midwest Illumination are among many energy efficiency businesses designing equipment and employing skilled workers retrofitting commercial, industrial and governmental buildings, schools and homes. Saving energy saves consumers money. Less pollution means better public health and cleaner lakes and rivers for all. Why would anyone argue that it's somehow smart to waste energy and money?
Wind and solar development creates manufacturing and technical jobs, economic development and pollution-free energy. The Environmental Law & Policy Center's Solar and Wind Energy Supply Chain report shows that Michigan is home to 241 clean energy businesses - including Dowding Industries, Patriot Solar Group and Hemlock Semiconductor - and 10,000 related jobs. Michigan's old-line manufacturing companies are re-tooling to supply growing markets for clean energy equipment. read more>>>