Local Chamber Urges Legislature to Increase Clean Energy

Action by Michigan Gov. Snyder and the legislature to increase clean energy in Michigan would benefit counties across the state—and is something local chambers of commerce and businesses should get behind.

That is the message Chad Gainor, Vice President of the Harbor Beach Chamber of Commerce on Michigan’s east coast, is sharing with his colleagues, the news media, and policymakers in the state.

Gainor voiced his position in a letter published in The Huron Daily Tribune. He also shared the message in written testimony to the state legislature.

Gainor says he knows first-hand how important clean energy is for economic development, as both a chamber executive and local entrepreneur. He also observes that the state’s clean energy policy has already:

  • Generated nearly $3 billion in private-sector investment,
  • Saved consumers money, and
  • Reduced the cost of renewable and efficiency technologies.

But these gains, he says, are only the beginning. Strengthening the state’s clean energy standards and investing in more efficient, renewable energy would only mean more good news for the state, he says.

“Investing in efficient, renewable energy,” he wrote, “will build upon our manufacturing strength and skill, allow us to retool our factories, attract growing companies and jobs to Michigan, encourage innovation, and put Michigan workers back on the job.”

Gainor also noted that more large corporations are demanding access to renewable energy as a key requirement for locating data centers and other investments in the state. He added that “this is another reason businesses and chambers should get more engaged in the clean energy discussions.”

“We have a decommissioned coal power plant in Harbor Beach, surrounded by wind farms,” he wrote; “why can’t we have a renewable powered hi-tech data center in the Thumb?”