Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Michigan Looks to Sweden

Michigan Governor Granholm Sweden EthanolWhen discussing ethanol and energy policy, Brazil is usually cited as the example. And indeed, Brazil's push to use renewable ethanol for transportation fuel is outstanding.

But often overlooked is another country, Sweden, that has embraced cleaner-burning, renewable ethanol as a domestic weapon against dependence upon foreign oil.

As we told you last year, even Swedish smugglers are playing a role in helping to fuel Sweden. Every drop counts.Sweden flag renewable energy ethanol biodiesel alcohol

Although the US media hasn't made much of it, many top officials are taking a closer look at how Sweden's efforts can be used as a model for the United States.

Last month, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm made renewable energy and its job creation a focus of her State of the State address. And she prominently mentioned Sweden as an example that Michigan should look to.
First, we must commit as a state to use alternative energy to meet our own energy needs.

To understand the connection between renewable energy and jobs, just look at Sweden - a country with striking resemblances to our state: the same size population, similar geography with two-thirds of their land covered by forests, a strong automotive sector. Sweden set high goals for their use of renewable energy. The result? They created over 2,000 businesses and 400,000 jobs in their renewable energy sector. 400,000 jobs!
She went on to mentioned that 25 other states have set aggressive goals for their alternative energy use. In fact, late last year many Midwest governors agreed to increase their use of renewable energy.

The governor has challenged the Michigan legislature to set ambitious alternative energy goals for Michigan - produce 10 percent of our electrical energy from renewable sources by the year 2015 and a full 25 percent by the year 2025.

The governor even challenged the legislature to spur the use of ethanol and biodiesel by eliminating its gas tax:
And to make sure that ethanol is made here and sold here and is competitive with gasoline, I'm asking you once again to eliminate the gas tax for fuel purchases of ethanol and biodiesel at gas stations.
It's clear that the policymakers in Michigan will do whatever it takes to promote renewable energy like ethanol and to compete for alternative energy jobs in the state.

Source: Gov. Granholm State of the State Address, January 2008

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