Local Business, Labor, Environmental and Investor Leaders Also Release Clean Energy Policy Roadmap
EATON RAPIDS, MI (November 28, 2011) – Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) joined business, labor, environmental, civic and investor leaders at a news conference earlier today in highlighting plans for a foundry facility in Eaton Rapids that will cast hubs and other components for wind turbines and at full production could bring approximately 200 new jobs to the area. The event at Dowding Industries/Astraeus Wind Energy also marked the release of the BlueGreen Apollo Alliance’s Michigan Green Manufacturing Action Plan (GreenMAP), a report that provides a roadmap for growing clean energy and creating jobs in the state of Michigan.
“There are 8,000 parts in a wind turbine, and every single one of them can, and should, be made right here in Michigan,” said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow. “Michigan is already a leader in clean energy technologies – the number one state in clean energy patents last year alone – and we must continue to create the right conditions for businesses to grow and create new jobs. We cannot afford to lose the race to build the clean energy technologies of the future to countries like China.”
“We’re excited to announce plans for our new facility here today and the opportunities that clean energy – especially wind energy – is providing Michigan and the United States,” said Pekka Kemppainen, Chairman of URV USA, a subsidiary of a Finnish supplier of cast-iron wind turbine components. “Clean energy is building good jobs right here in Michigan.”
The hosts of the event Astraeus Wind, a partnership Dowding Industries and MAG Industrial Automation Systems, build wind energy components. A tour of the facility was conducted immediately following the news conference.
“We need advanced manufacturing technologies that turn the world back to the U.S. for solutions and bring Michigan back to the forefront of manufacturing,” said Jeff Metts, President of Dowding Industries/Astraeus Wind Energy.
The Michigan BlueGreen Apollo Alliance GreenMAP report gives state-specific recommendations to advance smart state-level policies to bolster clean energy manufacturing job creation in the state. The report is a blueprint that looks at the totality of the clean energy economy in the state – from the demand-side policies in place, such as the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, and how to improve them to the need for clean energy businesses to have access to capital to the importance of regional and federal action to move us to a cleaner, more efficient economy.
“GreenMAP shows us how we can ensure more of these kinds of announcements – good jobs created by investments in clean energy – happen around the state,” said former Director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth Skip Pruss, Principal of 5 Lakes Energy, who served as a taskforce member on the GreenMAP project.
“Local 324 leadership is 100 percent behind the Green Map report. It provides the policy framework for driving Michigan’s manufacturing sector demand,” said John Hamilton, International Vice President for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) and Business Manager for IUOE Local 324. “We are ready to supply the workforce that will compliment the partnership while protecting our environment. These are clearly mutually achievable goals.”
“We know what we need to do to create good jobs in clean energy, now it is up to policymakers to enact these recommendations and position Michigan to be on the forefront of the clean energy economy,” said former Congressman Mark Schauer, who serves at the Co-Chair of the BlueGreen Alliance’s Jobs21! campaign and was a member of the GreenMAP taskforce. “Our state can’t wait, because waiting means losing out on more opportunities like the one we’re here today to celebrate.”