Governor Snyder’s 2013 Environmental Agenda Hits Key Joyce Foundation Priorities
November 30, 2012 04:59 PM
Michigan Land Use Institute, a Joyce grantee, encourages Gov. Snyder to make the state a leader in energy efficiency.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder delivered his message on energy and the environment through a tele-town hall meeting at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station near Kalamazoo. Joyce Foundation grantee Michigan Land Use Institute was selected to host one of three remote sites where citizens participated.
Jim Dulzo, senior editor/energy policy specialist at the Michigan Land Use Institute, was one of the few allotted time to question Governor Snyder. Dulzo asked “Is there any reason for us not to set a truly bold goal, one that will make Michigan a global leader in home, business, government, and industrial energy efficiency within a decade?” Watch Dulzo’s remarks and the governor’s response below.
Governor Snyder emphasized how he sees energy and the environment as intertwined. “There’s not two separate worlds. There’s not a world of just environment, nor a world of energy or economics. It’s a symbiotic relationship and they tie together,” he said. He highlighted three pillars of energy policy that every decision must stand upon: reliability, affordability, environmental protection.
“These pillars will be used to guide our energy decisions—and a great example is energy efficiency. Energy efficiency doesn’t mean doing less; it means doing as much or more but using less energy to get it done. Energy efficiency is the best example of a no-regrets policy Michigan can have. It makes us more reliable, more affordable and protects our environment.”
Michigan Saves, a state program that helps consumers lower power bills through efficiency, is a success story. The program’s goal is to grow investments in energy efficiency from $68 million this year to $150 million in 2017. “This partnership, seeded with public funds, works with private lenders … to provide affordable financing to help homes and businesses save energy and money,” said Snyder.
As the new head of the Council of Great Lakes Governors, Snyder announced that he plans to host a summit to discuss threats to the lakes—Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species, pollution caused by storm water runoff, municipal withdrawals for use as drinking water, and restoration efforts.
Marc Smith, senior policy manager of the National Wildlife Federation’s Joyce-supported Great Lakes Regional Center, welcomed this news, saying, “Non-native species have been devastating to the region’s fish and wildlife and economy.…We’re glad to see that Governor Snyder takes this issue seriously and is willing to make this a priority for Michigan and other Great Lakes states.”
The Michigan Land Use Institute promotes people-friendly regional planning, healthy food from local farms, and Michigan’s leadership in the new green-energy and clean-water economy. These strategies save people money and build local economies. The Institute works with people and communities to raise their voices, make their points, and see their way through to a better solution.
The Joyce Foundation Environment Program aims to establish Great Lakes states as leaders on a path to adopt energy efficiency measures and policies that are less expensive than the cost of generating more power. The Foundation works on three interconnected water issues: preventing the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species; eliminating polluted runoff from cities and farms; and advancing and defending key state, regional, and federal Great Lakes policies and funding.
Joyce Grantees' Reactions to Governor Snyder’s Town Hall
Michigan Land Use Institute
Natural Resources Defense Council
The Environment Report
mLive.com: Gov. Rick Snyder's energy plan draws mixed reaction from environmental, conservation groups
Detroit Free Press: Gov. Rick Snyder approves of fracking, if done right
Detroit News: Snyder wants more gas drilling