E2 Weekly Update — Beginnings in Michigan

In Michigan, A New Effort to Advance Clean Energy

E2 is opening a new front on the fight for clean energy — this time in the state of Michigan.

Starting as early as this week, E2 will launch a major online digital ad campaign in Detroit and in the state capital of Lansing. The ads point out how the state can create 10 times more jobs through renewable energy and energy efficiency than it can by approving a controversial new gas-fired power plant proposed by Detroit-based DTE Energy Co.

The ads will direct viewers to E2’s new Clean Jobs Count website, where business leaders, workers and others can add their name to a pledge indicating their support for clean energy and for lawmakers who advance policies that can create more clean energy jobs. (You’ll be hearing a lot more about the Clean Jobs Count campaign in the near future).

The digital ad campaign in Michigan is just one of many ways E2 is amplifying the clean energy message in Michigan. In the weeks ahead, we plan to release a set of clean energy maps that will show clean energy companies, investments, installations and other details all across the state. I recently spent several days in Detroit talking to business leaders, allies and others across the state, and came away feeling inspired by the excitement for clean energy’s potential in their local economy and eagerness to fight for the policies that will help make it a reality.

With more than 92,000 Michigan residents already working in clean energy, it’s clear that we only need a little help from policymakers to make the state a clean energy leader — and make a difference for the good of our economy and our environment.

- Micaela Preskill, Midwest States Advocate

PS If you wish to volunteer to write a piece for a future Upshot of the Week, email michael@e2.org

The President’s Own Party Still Doesn’t Back His Attempts to Dismantle Clean Energy (Greentech Media)

New Poll: Voters Support Strong EPA Fuel Efficiency Standards (American Lung Association)

As Trump begins dismantling auto efficiency rules, California is doubling down on its own, sources say (Los Angeles Times)

Study: wind and solar can power most of the United States (The Guardian)

Renewables need role in ‘energy dominance’ — Bush official (Energywire)

Column: Michigan deserves clean energy (Detroit News)

Aging Wind Farms Are Repowering with Longer Blades, More Efficient Turbines (InsideClimate News)


FEDERAL

  • This week, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to issue a final determination declaring the Obama administration’s fuel efficiency standards for cars are too strict and should be revised — a move widely expected to eventually result in significantly weaker mileage standards. The current standards aim for the average fuel economy of new cars sold in 2025 to reach 54.5 mpg.
  • Last week, Congress passed and the president signed a massive spending bill (the omnibus) to fund the federal government until October. Thanks in part to advocacy work by E2 members and staff over the past year, this bill not only rejected President Trump’s own budget request, it increased funding for many federal clean energy and transportation R&D programs that would have been wiped out in the President’s proposal.

Of note in the spending bill:

  1. Department of Energy (DOE) clean energy R&D funding increased by nearly $1.5 billion — including a 14 percent increase for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and a 16 percent increase for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). President Trump had sought to cut the renewables office 65 percent and eliminate ARPA-E entirely.
  2. The loan guarantee programs that have helped — among other projects — automakers modernize and manufacture more efficient vehicles were preserved.
  3. Both the solar (Sunshot) and wind energy programs at DOE got significant bumps in funding, as did the Weatherization Assistance Program and Building Technologies Office. The latter programs are involved in increasing energy efficiency in communities across America and driving R&D in efficient technologies.

STATES

  • Massachusetts — Led by Chapter Director Berl Hartman, E2 New England members met with four key Massachusetts lawmakers’ offices to follow up on January meetings pertaining to several pending pieces of legislation including a bill to remove the cap on solar net metering, another that would increase the state RPS to 50% by 2030, and a proposal to create a market-based carbon pricing system.

  • E2 Pennsylvania consultant Sharon Pillar will represent E2 on a panel at the in Pittsburgh on April 5. The event is sponsored by the Women’s Energy Network of Greater Pittsburgh along with Green Building Alliance, EverPower, and the Building Codes Assistance Project. For registration information, click here.

  • While the Trump admin threatens to weaken #fueleconomy standards, polling last fall found 78% of Coloradans support requiring automakers to continue to meet strong fuel economy standards. http://bit.ly/2uohj6g #cleancars
  • DID YOU KNOW: 288k Americans work in jobs #manufacturing technology that makes vehicles cleaner and more fuel-efficient. #mfg #cleanenergy #cleancars
  • “We should be looking forward, not backward. And forward means looking at #cleanenergy” — @LynnScarlett1, fmr Bush Interior deputy secretary, on Trump admin’s fossil fuel focus http://bit.ly/2pInb4R

Originally published at mailchi.mp.