Early in Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm's State of the State speech last night, she said that, "Our auto industry, the anchor of our economy, has been battered as never before." Her solution: diversifying Michigan's economy, and a part of that diversification is increasing the amount of alternative energy and biofuel produced here. Granholm said she would ask the Legislature to create laws that require 10 percent of Michigan's energy to come from renewable sources within eight years, and 20 percent in 18 years. That kind of growth will be helped by the 1,000 new ethanol and biodiesel pumps Granholm wants installed by 2008 (Minnesota, watch out).
How likely is this? I think it's fairly likely, considering all of the pro-biofuel news from Michigan we've written about recently (see list below). I'd like to know if "by 2008" might mean 11 months from now, which is very soon, or if it means by the end of 2008, which gives gas stations a decent amount of time to install the new pumps. Michigan's first biodiesel production facility opened last year in Bangor, and more are coming. It's time to bring the infrastructure up to speed.

You can read Granholm's entire speech at the Lansing State Journal or just the car/biofuel section after the jump. The Governor's website on the speech is here.

Related:
[Source: Lansing State Journal]
Governor's State of the State speech, alternative energy section:

"Fourth, well continue to diversify our economy by pursuing growth in four promising sectors: the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, homeland security, and alternative energy. And make no mistake about it, this diversification pays off. While our auto sector is contracting, other sectors are clearly seeing growth. Economist David Sowerby documents that outside the auto industry, he sees Michigan-based companies regularly posting double-digit growth.

We have been shrewd about attracting automotive R&D companies because that kind of high-end diversification takes advantage of our strengths. So we now have 215 automotive R&D centers in Michigan. Two hundred and fifteen - that's more than all of the other states, plus Canada, plus Mexico, combined! This year, well see more jobs created through that kind of diversification.

Last year, there were 505 applications for grants from our 21st Century Jobs Fund each offering to turn new ideas into new business growth and new jobs. This fund is a deep and broad 10-year, $2 billion investment in diversifying our economy. No other state can compare. Now, from these 505 applicants, the top 67 companies and projects were funded and are now moving forward. And this year, well fund even more that meet our high standards.

One sector I'm particularly bullish on is alternative energy. This new industry, so critical to our economy, our national security, and our environment is already setting up shop in Michigan. With other states clamoring for this opportunity, Michigan cannot afford to wait. Already, eleven ethanol or biodiesel fuel manufacturing plants companies have chosen Michigan. Let me introduce to you some of the people who are making Michigan an alternative energy center right now:
  • Daniel Russo of American Electric Car in Ferndale.
  • Nick Cappa from the Global Hybrid Development Team in Troy.
  • Charles Cauchy from Tellurex in Traverse City.
Please give them the kind of Michigan welcome that shows our enthusiasm about their work in alternative energy.

Tonight I am announcing that we will begin an aggressive, three-year effort to attract even more alternative energy companies to Michigan through more than $100 million in combined public-private investments. This will include the green technology companies that will make Michigan a leader in building the products that reduce the emissions that cause global warming.

Next, I will ask this Legislature to set ambitious goals for our state, so that within eight years, a minimum of 10 percent of our energy will come from renewable sources. And we will double that goal in the decade after that. I will also ask you to expand alternative energy renaissance zones to attract new solar and wind energy companies. Finally, by 2008 we will have 1,000 ethanol and biodiesel pumps at gas stations across the state so you can put ethanol in your gas tank;

In the 20th century, we were the state that put the nation on wheels. In the 21st century, Michigan can be the state that breaks our nations dependence on foreign oil! Just as we seek diversity in our economy, we must embrace human diversity in our communities, schools and workplaces. There's no question, diversity matters. It defines the global marketplace. When we bring together people of different backgrounds and different ways of seeing the world, we spark innovation...and innovation creates huge dividends. If we fully embrace the mosaic that is Michigan, our diversity will help fuel our economic transformation. And do you know what else? As we face these economic tides, we have to remember that we are all in this state together. We did not arrive here in the same way or at the same time, but we are all here together, headed toward the same destination.

We are One Michigan.


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