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The Pew Center: On the Ballot (And in the Constitution?): Michigan’s Energy Future

Author: Jim Malewitz
November 5, 2012


Renewable energy will be an important issue for Michigan voters, as they weigh an amendment that would make changes to the state's renewable energy production.

Renewable energy advocates will be looking to Michigan on Tuesday (November 6), hoping its voters validate a bold experiment in growing the state's renewable energy production: If you're first stymied at the statehouse, just put it on the ballot — and in the constitution.

Michiganders will weigh that question as they vote on Proposal 3, which would amend the document to require utilities by 2025 to generate 25 percent of their energy from renewable sources: wind, solar, hydropower, biomass or any other fuels that "naturally replenish over a human rather than geological time frame."

It comes at a time while conservative groups, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, are pressing state legislatures to roll back requirements to increase renewable energy standards.

And in Michigan, the conservative legislature "isn't going to consider expanding the standards anytime soon," says Hugh McDiarmid, of the Michigan Environmental Council.

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