Survey Finds Voters in Support of Restricting CO2 Pollution from Coal Plants

Thursday, August 21st, 2008
Contact: Dan Farough

LANSING – The Sierra Club, Progress Michigan, and Clean Energy Now released a statewide poll today which found overwhelming support for stronger protections against global warming carbon dioxide pollution before more coal plants are built. Eight coal-fired power plants are being planned in various cities around the state, giving Michigan more current coal plant proposals than any other state, according to a review by the Sierra Club.

The poll, conducted by Greenburg, Quinlan, and Rosner found that 69% of voters support an executive order from the Governor that would establish protections against the amount of carbon dioxide pollution that can be released from coal plants before any more coal-burning facilities are built in the state. The poll also concluded that support cuts across party lines, with 82% of Democrats, 58% of Republicans and 69% of Independents supporting the measure. The survey asked 600 Michigan voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.

“The public wants strong protections against global warming before we rush to build more harmful coal plants,” said Anne Woiwode, Director of the Michigan Sierra Club. “Governor Granholm must act to protect the Great Lakes and Michigan families from the dangers of global warming pollution before energy corporations rush to add to the problem.”

The groups are calling on Governor Granholm to fight global warming by making carbon dioxide a factor in whether the state approves permits for each of the eight proposed coal plants. None of Michigan’s eight coal plant proposals offer any protections against carbon dioxide pollution. The groups pointed out that in 2007, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius directed the state’s environmental agency to consider the negative impact of global warming in air quality permit decisions for coal-burning power plants.

The groups also pointed to a recently released report by the National Council of State Legislators that predicted Michigan could experience a loss of billions of dollars in commercial commerce due to the effects of global climate change on the Great Lakes.

The report examined the detrimental outcome on Michigan’s lake-ports caused by falling water levels in the Great Lakes and a continuing increase in climate temperatures and its impact on agriculture.

“The Governor’s leadership is critical at this pivotal moment in our fight to turn the state away from outdated coal burning and toward a clean, renewable energy future. The Governor can take a stand in the fight for Michigan’s energy future by using her executive power to stop permitting of coal plants until protections are put in place against dangerous global warming pollutants,” said Dan Farough, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “We know now that the public supports stronger protections against coal plant pollution, and we’re calling on Governor Granholm to leave a long-lasting legacy by protecting the Great Lakes and our families from the growing threat of climate change.”

“More outdated coal burning plants mean more carbon dioxide pollution and less clean energy jobs. This poll shows that the public overwhelming supports taking our state in a new direction,” said Cyndi Roper, Director of Michigan Clean Water Action. “Governor Granholm can do this, but we first need her to issue an executive order to require new protections against dangerous CO2 pollution before more coal burning plant are built in our state.”

A petition supporting action by the Governor can be signed by visiting:


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