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Coalition urges Michigan lawmakers to take up clean energy policies

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A coalition of nonpartisan organizations in Grand Rapids are urging lawmakers to quickly pass clean energy policies. The call to action came ahead of a visit from a state task force Wednesday morning.

The Energy Reliability, Resilience and Accountability Task Force made a stop in Grand Rapids as part of a statewide listening tour. The task force was created in response to prolonged power outages many Michiganders experienced during severe storms this year.

The coalition outlined three key priorities for lawmakers to take up based on the Clean Energy Future Plan that was introduced by state Senate Democrats in April.

Priorities include passing a 100 percent carbon-free electricity standard by 2035, establishing policies that conserve energy, and empowering and requiring the Michigan Public Service Commission to regulate and hold big utilities accountable for equity, health, affordability and climate impacts.

Wesley Watson is the West Michigan Regional Coordinator for theMichigan League of Conservation Voters. Speaking at a Wednesday morning press conference, he said the state can make a smart generational investment to transform frontline communities into thriving equitable communities.

“That means protecting our Great Lakes, helping make sure we have clean air and clean water, making sure that housing is more affordable, making sure we’re transitioning our fleet from electric to provide more options and access to public transit,” he said.

Watson said the Clean Energy Future Plan has the potential to alleviate the energy burden on working middle and low-income families in Michigan. He called for lawmakers to push the legislation across the finish line.

Representatives from C4, Michigan Climate Action Network, Vote Solar, and Local Solar for Now were also spoke in support of the legislation during the press conference.

The state task force is expected to make at least two more stops in Benton Harbor and Ferndale.

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