Michigan campaign organizers calling for an increase in the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) say they have submitted more than 530,000 signatures to the Michigan Secretary of State to force the RPS issue on the November ballot.
Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs is calling for an increase the state's RPS to 25% by 2025. Currently, the state's RPS is 10% by 2015.
‘Thanks to more than 530,000 Michigan voters, we are taking the first step toward becoming an energy leader that can compete with anyone in the world,’ said Mark Fisk, spokesman for Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs. ‘Clean energy businesses here in Michigan are using our manufacturing skills to diversify the economy and put people back to work. By increasing our renewable energy standard, we can strengthen this sector even further and move our economy forward.’
Fisk says that 323,000 signatures were needed to place the question on the November ballot. Additionally, the group claims more than 140 businesses and organizations have joined the coalition.
However, the grass roots initiative has come under criticism from Michigan utilities DTE Energy and Consumers Energy. In fact, the utilities started a rival coalition, called CARE (short for Clean, Affordable Renewable Energy), which started has its own campaign to defeat the proposed RPS increase.
The campaign includes a website, careformich.com, that is designed to educate and influence voters and politicians, according to Megan Brown, CARE spokesperson. Like Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs, CARE says it has bipartisan support and backing from labor groups and organizations.