Gov. Jennifer Granholm recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post titled “A Mighty Wind,” in which she credits Michigan’s renewable energy standard of 2008 — which requires 10 percent of energy produced by the major utilities in the state come from renewable sources — for revitalizing the state’s economy. The mighty wind she feels blowing through the halls of government in Lansing probably seems more like a gentle breeze to job seekers around the state who are dealing with the second highest unemployment rate of any state in the country.
Gov. Granholm claims that 89,198 jobs have been created by so-called clean energy companies in Michigan. She also credits the Recovery Act for creating these jobs. She fails to mention that these federal stimulus dollars which have helped sink the country further into debt are propping up the green energy industry.
The “green bubble” fueled by federal stimulus dollars is bound to burst when the dollars stop flowing, given the fact that the country is broke and the political landscape in Washington has become increasingly unfriendly to more government handouts.
Gov. Granholm believes that the federal government should impose a nationwide renewable energy standard. If she really believes Michigan has gained an economic advantage by imposing a 10 percent renewable power mandate, it seems strange that she would want to give up that advantage by having the federal government mandate that requirement in all of the states. Perhaps renewable energy standards have more to do with environmental ideology than they do with creating jobs.
Michigan should repeal the renewable energy standard and instead focus on reforming tax, labor and regulatory issues that would free up businesses in the state to create sustainable jobs.