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Energy plays role in 2006 Michigan election

Candidates embrace New Energy Future
Environment Michigan’s (EM) New Energy Future platform campaign capitalized on the 2006 election to show broad public support for moving Michigan beyond fossil fuels and toward a cleaner and more secure energy future.
EM asked state candidates to endorse the New Energy Future platform, a bold plan to change Michigan’s energy path and stimulate the economy. The response was tremendous—33 candidates who signed the platform won re-election, including several in key leadership positions such as House Majority Floor Leader Steve Tobocman (D-Detroit), Speaker Pro Tem Michael Sak (D-Grand Rapids) and Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek), Assistant Majority Caucus Chair Ron Jelinek (R-Berrien), and Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee Chairperson Patricia Birkholz (R-Saugatuck).
 The New Energy Future platform commits lawmakers to enact visionary policies that would:
  • Harness homegrown, renewable clean energy sources to produce 25% of Michigan’s electricity by 2025.
  •  Save energy with high-performance homes and businesses and require 10% energy use reduction for electricity and home heating by 2025.
  • Invest in a new energy future through aggressive research and development of energy saving and renewable energy technologies and invest $5 billion over the next 10 years in energy ventures that would catapult Michigan into a national energy leader.
The New Energy Future platform brought significant attention to energy independence issues in the 2006 election, including prompting a question at the second gubernatorial debate, a front page story in Crain’s Detroit Business and editorials across the state. With energy issues poised to be a top priority in Gov. Granholm’s second term and in the next legislative session, the platform sets Michigan on an energy path that emphasizes homegrown, clean energy as opposed to dirty, dangerous imported fossil fuels. EM’s efforts were part of a national campaign from a coalition of more than 250 business, labor, religious and environmental organizations. More than 180 candidates for federal office signed on to a similar platform, calling for America to move towards energy independence though commitments to renewable energy, energy conservation, oil savings and investments in energy technologies. Candidates who signed the platform and won on election night Michigan Senate: 8th District Raymond Basham 9th District Dennis Olshove 10th District Thomas Schaut 18th District Liz Brater 18th District Mark Schauer 21st District Ron Jelinek 23rd District Gretchen Whitmer 24th District Patricia Birkholz 26th District Deb Cherry 31st District Jim Barcia Michigan House: 6th District Marsha Cheeks 8th District George Cushingberry, Jr. 12th District Steve Tobocman 13th District Barbara Farrah 15th District Gino Polidori 23rd District Kathleen Law 25th District Steven Bieda 31st District Fred Miller 34th District Brenda Clack 35th District Paul Condino 37th District Aldo Vagnozzi 49th District Lee Gonzales 50th District Ted Hammon 52nd District Pam Byrnes 60th District Robert Jones 63rd District Lorence Wenke 68th District Joan Bauer 69th District Mark Meadows 76th District Michael Sak 84th District Terry Brown 85th District Richard Ball 95th District Andy Coulouris 103rd District Joel Sheltrown
-Abby Rubley, Environment Michigan
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