A new poll conducted by Small Business Majority shows that small businesses in Michigan “overwhelmingly support increasing the state’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent by 2025.” According to the poll, 79 percent of poll respondents supported the measure.
Michigan’s renewable energy standard, which requires a 10% penetration by 2015, has driven more than $100 million in economic activity. The new proposed standard, which will be on a ballot initiative in November, is expected to spur billions in economic activity.
Supporters of the initiative have turned in over 530,000 signatures, almost 200,000 more than needed to make it on to the ballot: “We are taking the first step toward becoming an energy leader that can compete with anyone in the world,” said Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs spokesman Mark Fisk, in response to the signatures.
According to the Small Business Majority poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, small business owners also believe the targets can be a driver of economic growth:
“Small business owners in Michigan are eager for pragmatic energy policies that can help them develop new technologies and increase business opportunities. They understand that to survive in this tough economy they need creative solutions to curb costs and increase their competitive edge. These include continued government investments in clean energy and the enforcement of standards that reduce harmful emissions in their communities. Right now, giving small businesses the incentives and tools needed to drive job creation and increase market competitiveness should be a top priority.”
This is in direct contrast to the climate change-denying Chamber of Commerce and the state’s two large utilities, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, which are waging an aggressive campaign against new renewable energy targets.
The small business owners polled by the pollsters were ideologically diverse, with 39 percent identifying as Republican, 38 percent as Democrat, 10 percent as independent and 13 percent as “other.”
More than three quarters of respondents expressed the belief that government should have a role in helping promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, and nearly 80 percent thought that financial incentives and policy directives are an appropriate way for the government to accomplish this goal.
— Max Frankel