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Study: More than 74,000 jobs will be created if clean energy ballot issue wins

More than 74,000 Michigan jobs will be created if the Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs renewable energy ballot proposal passes in November, according to a new report from researchers at Michigan State University.

The study also found the higher renewable electricity standard would create more than $10 billion in new investments. The ballot question will ask voters to require Michigan’s utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

“Michigan is endowed with an abundance of wind, solar, hydro and biomass that not only could surpass our energy needs but can contribute more to economic development,” said the report.

“Our study finds that Michigan stands to create tens of thousands of construction, operations and maintenance, and manufacturing jobs from passing a higher renewable energy standard.”

The study says the proposal would create 31,513 jobs from construction and 42,982 jobs from operations and maintenance. The jobs are expressed in “job years” meaning each job represents one-year of full-time employment for one person. The authors concluded there could be a range of additional job impacts including thousands of manufacturing jobs. Those numbers are dependent on the percentage of market share captured by in-state manufacturers. All told, the initiative would create between 74,495 and 113,845 jobs in Michigan.

“This report illustrates the tremendous boost to Michigan’s economy that a strong renewable energy standard will have,” said Chris Kolb, president of the Michigan Environmental Council, which commissioned the study. “It’s a job creating machine, with the added benefit of cleaner air, improved public health and healthier communities.”

The researchers have done previous analyses on renewable energy issues, including the economic impact of Michigan adopting the current 10 percent by 2015 standard.

The report’s authors are:
  • Charles McKeown, Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University
  • Benjamin Calnin, Land Policy Institute, Michigan State University
  • Steven Miller, Center for Economic Analysis, Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University.
The full report may be found here, at http://bit.ly/ONXEg7
-Hugh McDiarmid, Jr.
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