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Posted on Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 10:51 a.m.

Rick Snyder says he supports Michigan's renewable energy law

By Nathan Bomey

Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder said yesterday that he supports the state's renewable portfolio standard, a 2008 law that requires utilities to get at least 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

Rick Snyder makes final appeal.jpg

Rick Snyder meets Ann Arbor supporters on the night before the primary election in August.

Melanie Maxwell |

Asked by a voter at a town hall whether he would seek to repeal Michigan's RPS, the Ann Arbor venture capitalist and former president of Gateway Inc. said he liked the law, according to a report by the Sault Ste. Marie Evening News.

“I think they did a decent job on that law,” Snyder said. “I don’t think we need to do much here. The balancing act is we need to keep costs down, but we need to look at renewables. I don’t want to mess with that.”

Michigan is one of 31 states with some kind of energy law requiring utilities to get more electricity from renewable sources, according to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

Snyder's statement came the same day the Michigan League of Conservation Voters challenged Snyder and his Democratic opponent, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, to respond to eight specific questions on environmental issues. Both Snyder and Bernero received the MLCV's endorsement in the primary.

Bernero in 2007 established an RPS for Lansing city government facilities, which must get 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2010, 15 percent by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020.

Snyder and Bernero will square off Sunday night in the only gubernatorial debate. They will also speak at the Detroit Economic Club on Thursday but won't appear on stage at the same time.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 11:12 a.m.

With out laws like these utility companies have no reason to change their behavior and start getting serious about renwables. Thing is we the people, the economy, and the environment need them to- I'm glad he's in favor of it.


Fri, Oct 8, 2010 : 3:12 p.m.

If Rick Snyder says "I don't think we need to do much here", then he doesn't get it. The whole point of the Renewable Portfolio Standard is that we DO need to so something, and it establishes a timetable for taking the first baby steps away from excess CO2 production and toward keeping our energy $$$ in state.


Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 8:26 a.m.

I'm going to interpret this as Snyder not wanting this issue to be a distraction. Michigan is mostly ill suited for wind and solar energy. The law is a feel-good measure for greenies. Then again, renewable energy does have significant nerd cred. One of these days someone will figure out thorium reactors and this issue will be moot.


Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 7:21 a.m.

Let me understand now: Virg Bernero actually established the renewable portfolio standard three years ago for Lansing and Rick Snyder's position is I dont think we need to do much here. The balancing act is we need to keep costs down..." This statement is not an unqualified endorsement and is not out of character for a trained business opportunist who measures effects on corporate profit first.

Bob Martel

Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 6:43 p.m.

Kudos to Rick Snyder for his support of the existing RPS legislation. Truly a breath of fresh air in the GOP!