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The following commentary was written by Laura Sherman. Sherman is president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, a trade organization of more than 140 advanced energy companies focused on improving the policy landscape for the advanced energy industry in Michigan. See our commentary guidelines for more information.
Michigan’s recently finalized plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 is an ambitious strategy that would remake the state’s economy. Under the plan, transportation would become electrified, and our energy would increasingly come from renewable sources backed by storage, among other bold policies.
While it can be daunting, big change is often good. The shift envisioned by the plan will pay dividends to Michiganders from all walks of life by increasing job growth, boosting income and raising the state’s overall economic output.
The advanced energy sector is one of the fastest-growing parts of Michigan’s economy, as the members of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC) have seen firsthand. Michigan EIBC represents approximately 140 companies that work in Michigan in renewable energy project development, advanced mobility, energy storage, energy efficiency, manufacturing of batteries and other components used in clean energy, and more.
The MI Healthy Climate Plan, as unveiled by Governor Whitmer, will build upon this progress. Not only will prioritizing clean energy and transportation lead to savings for consumers, but also, the state’s economy can leverage several elements of the plan to attract businesses and private investment.
Clean energy and transportation are a foundational part of the state’s economy. According to E2’s 2021 Clean Jobs America Report, Michigan’s clean energy employment share of the statewide workforce is higher than the national average and the state ranks 6th in the nation in total clean energy jobs. Michigan also has the second highest number of clean energy jobs when compared to other states in the Midwest. Michigan ranks second in the nation, behind only Ca …