Vote "Yes" on the Michigan Renewable Energy Standard

 

Lake MichiganBrook trout in Michigan are already feeling the effects of climate change. Shorter winters, less snow cover and warming water temperatures are wreaking havoc on habitats and wildlife across Michigan and in the Great Lakes.

Protecting Michigan's natural heritage depends on making the switch to renewable energy--essentially harnessing the power of the sun and wind--and reducing carbon pollution from coal, oil and gas.

This November 6th, Michigan voters have the chance to approve the Renewable Energy Standard, which would require that 25% of the state's electricity come from renewable resources such as wind, solar, and biomass by 2025.

Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs, Michigan Waters

The Michigan Renewable Energy Standard is vital to Michigan’s natural resources, economy, and future. If approved by voters, the Michinigan Renewable Energy Standard will:

  • Create tens of thousands of Michigan jobs
  • Reduce energy prices long-term for Michigan consumers and businesses
  • Protect our health and protect the health of the Great Lakes
  • Cut air pollution
  • Reduce carbon pollution that drives climate change

Michigan Deserves Clean Energy

Right now, nearly 60 percent of Michigan's power comes from coal imported from other states and Michigan's current renewable portfolio standard is 10% by 2015.

Four other states in the Great Lakes region already increased their renewable portfolio standards in the past several years--attracting investments, cutting air pollution and creating jobs for their citizens. While renewable energy is only 4.6 percent of the energy used in Michigan, Iowa gets 21 percent of its electricity from clean renewable energy.

Burning Fossil Fuels Threatens Michigan Wildlife

Our reliance on coal, oil, and gas is harming wildlife and cherished outdoor places. Limiting mercury and carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels will help protect our longstanding investment in our outdoor heritage.

  • Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury in Michigan and around the country. The mercury that accumulates in rivers and lakes, can build up, or bioaccumulate, through food chains to the point that high levels of mercury harm fish, wildlife, and human health.

  • Wildlife, including osprey, snowy egret, ring-necked pheasant and Canada goose are at risk for reproductive and other health problems due to elevated mercury exposures.

  • Fish such as smallmouth bass, northern pike, and walleye can exhibit the toxic effects of mercury on their behavior, reproduction and growth.

  • Mercury is a risk to human health. Children's nervous system development can be impacted by mercury exposure after eating fish, or through mercury in breast milk.

  • A general fish advisory on all of Michigan’s lakes and reservoirs recommends restricted consumption of a number of popular fish species due to risks from elevated mercury exposures.

  • In addition to mercury, coal-fired plants emit particulates, ozone and other pollutants that harm wildlife and human health.

  • Climate change, fueled by our reliance on fossil fuel-fired power, is the number one threat to wildlife today.

  • The consequences of climate change will likely include reduced stream habitat for cold water fish species such as brook trout; decreased habitat for moose in the region; and increased spread of invasive species and disease in coming decades.

Learn more about the mercury pollution in our lakes, and how climate change impacts wildlife.

Our existing reliance on burning fossil fuels has a tremendous negative impact on Michigan wildlife and natural places. Renewable energy, developed and sited to avoid impacts to sensitive wildlife habitat--is the only long-term and the most economical option to reduce the global warming pollution produced by our current dependence on fossil fuels.

Join in bringing renewable energy to Michigan by voting "Yes" to the Michigan Renewable Energy Standard.