The Rapidian

Why you should vote yes on Proposal 3

A lot of money is being spent on opposing Proposal 3. Here are some reasons to support the ballot initiative.
Underwriting support from:

Some Renewable Energy Standards from across the country

  • California: 33% by 2020
  • Utah: 20% by 2025
  • Iowa: 25% by 2025
  • Ohio: 25% by 2025
  • New York: 29% by 2015
  • Maine: 40% by 2017

For other states, head to this interactive map located on the Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs website.

Proposal 3 will increase the health of the public and conserve the environment.

Proposal 3 will increase the health of the public and conserve the environment. /Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs

The airwaves have been flooded with negative ads about Proposal 3. Due to this inundation, I am attempting to set the record straight by writing from the other side. First, the basics: Prop 3 is a ballot initiative that seeks to increase the state's renewable energy requirements to 25 percent by 2025. Because of this, it is colloquially known as the 25 by '25 campaign.

"More than 250 businesses, conservatives, health organizations and faith groups support Proposal 3 because it will create 94,000 jobs for Michigan workers and spark investment for our state," said Mark Pischea, spokesperson for Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs. These groups include the NAACP, the UAW, the Michigan Nurses Association, the Dominican Sisters in Grand Rapids and many others.

That figure that Pischea mentions--94,000--is a number that should be highlighted and discussed. According to a study conducted by Michigan State University, at least 74,000 jobs will be created if Prop 3 passes. None of these jobs will be outsourced. Another 20,000 will reportedly be created if the state's manufacturing industry is incorporated into the process of making Michigan more sustainable, which is likely because our state is home to an advanced manufacturing infrastructure.

In recent years, Michigan has generated approximately 60 percent of its electricity by burning imported coal, with the majority of it coming from Montana and Wyoming, according to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. By importing coal, Michigan is exporting jobs that could be kept here to create energy from renewable sources rather from those that are rapidly dwindling.

Some individuals are supporting Proposal 3 because they want to see thousands of jobs created. Others simply believe that it is time for Michigan to join the more than 30 other states that have already adopted sustainable measures similar to 25 by '25. In addition to these valid reasons to vote for Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs, there are the public health benefits that will become apparent as the state shifts away from coal and toward renewable sources, which is why the Michigan Nurse's Association has called Prop 3 "the most important public health initiative in decades."

Passing Proposal 3 will help protect Michigan's environment and public health and it is completely affordable. According to a recent study by the Michigan Environmental Council, utility bills would only increase an average of 50 cents per household if Prop 3 is passed.

Because of these reasons, I am voting yes on Prop 3. If you vote yes as well, you'll be able to say that you are helping to clean up the environment, improve public health and create jobs in our state.

If you want to support the campaign by volunteering your time here in Grand Rapids, head to prop3volunteer.wmeac.org or contact Katherine Sawyer, a local field organizer with the Sierra Club, via email at ksa[email protected].

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