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Poll: MI Voters Want Action on Clean Energy

PHOTO: Michiganders support a proposal to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants, according to a new poll from the Sierra Club. Photo credit: click/morguefile.com.
PHOTO: Michiganders support a proposal to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants, according to a new poll from the Sierra Club. Photo credit: click/morguefile.com.
November 24, 2014

LANSING, Mich. - Regardless of who they voted for in the midterm election, Michiganders want Congressional action on cleaner air and renewable energy. That's according to a new poll from the Sierra Club, which shows widespread support for those efforts. The club's national political director Melissa Williams says Michigan voters overwhelmingly back the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants.

"Sixty-four percent of voters favor the EPA to limit carbon emissions, and 68 percent of voters said they were more likely to support a candidate who supports that plan," Williams says.

In 2008, Michigan adopted a voter-approved goal of generating 10 percent of retail electricity from renewable sources by 2015, which the Department of Energy says the state is well on its way to achieving. The clean energy sector supports more than 76,000 jobs and has made the state a leader in advanced battery and wind manufacturing technologies, according to the Department of Energy.

Williams says Michiganders also have a clear message for Gary Peters, who will take the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Carl Levin in January. The poll found 66 percent of voters want Peters to support efforts to address the effects of climate change.

"Senator-elect Peters was one of the few candidates who was running on energy issues," says Williams. "So, I think it's clear voters responded to that."

Williams says it isn't only Michigan residents who want action on clean energy, as voters in the six battleground states surveyed said they back the Environmental Protection Agency's clean energy proposal.

"Support for this plan is extremely high," says Williams. "It includes large majorities of Independents and many Republicans. It's clear voters want action on this, and they support the President's plan; and that means the Senate should get behind that as well."

The EPA's proposal aims to cut power-plant pollution by 30 percent by the year 2030, compared to 2005 levels. The public comment period for the plan closes December first.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI