Energy Secretary Granholm's visit highlights importance of clean energy to Michigan

click to enlarge Community advocates are highlighting the importance of clean energy for Michigan as U.S. Secretary of Energy, and former Michigan governor, Jennifer Granholm plans to visit. - Shutterstock
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Community advocates are highlighting the importance of clean energy for Michigan as U.S. Secretary of Energy, and former Michigan governor, Jennifer Granholm plans to visit.

As U.S. Secretary of Energy and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm visits the Great Lakes State today, community advocates are highlighting the importance of investments in the clean-energy and transportation sectors.

Roshaun Harris, Michigan economic justice organizer for the Detroit Action and Main Street Alliance, said a clean-energy economy would directly benefit communities on the front lines of the climate crisis, especially low-income and Black, brown and Indigenous communities.

"We see the high incidence of asthma, and a lot of the infirmities that come along with being in a very toxic and polluted environment," Harris observed. "We've had issues with lead in the water in the schools. We've had a lot of contamination issues."

Harris pointed out the stresses of being in a polluted environment also can cause mental-health issues.

Michigan employs nearly 115,000 workers in clean vehicles, renewable energy, efficiency and more, and President Joe Biden proposed billions of dollars in investments to boost states' clean-energy sectors even further.

Harris noted roads, bridges and buildings in Detroit and across the state need serious work, and communities need access to capital. He argued the more that can be done in an environmentally conscious way to transition the U.S. away from fossil fuels, the better.

"We've been under a very old model that needs a transition, but that transition needs a kick-start," Harris contended. "And those federal resources coming here will really be a great kick-start to provide a new layer of economic infrastructure, environmental infrastructure, sustainable infrastructure."

Granholm will visit manufacturing facility Magna Electronics in Holly, host a roundtable with business and labor leaders and Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Mich., of Rochester Hills, and go to General Motors' Factory Zero at the company's hub for their electric vehicles.

Originally published August 5, 2021 by Michigan News Connection. It is republished here with permission.

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