Holland, MI – With Windmill Island in view, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said Tuesday, June 10, a component of her economic vision is for Holland to use its wind energy resources.
She said the state Senate is considering legislation this week that would require a certain percentage of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources.
Known as the renewable portfolio standard, the Democratic governor said the bill could create thousands of jobs in the renewable energy industry.
She said Holland’s position on the shoreline is great for generating wind power and its manufacturing base could be good for building wind turbines.
“That’s your whole niche,” she said in an interview with The Sentinel. “Why not have you guys be the leaders? Why not capitalize on the demand?”
Granholm visited the area Tuesday to speak with officials at Gentex Corp. in Zeeland and meet with local leaders.
During an event at CityVu Restaurant, 61 E. Seventh St., Granholm answered questions from school superintendents, business executives and government officials.
Brian Davis, superintendent of Holland Public Schools, stressed to Granholm that money needs to be better spent on programs including early childhood education for at-risk children.
Soren Wolff, Holland city manager, said the state must make major structural changes to its government.
Granholm agreed, pointing out the state is looking to rework its corrections system, which could save hundreds of millions of dollars.
Randy Thelen, president of Lakeshore Advantage, recommended Granholm provide incentives to developers who construct environmentally friendly buildings.
At the end of the event, Mayor Al McGeehan presented Granholm with a framed wind turbine picture. He said Holland will be a nonpartisan advocate for change in the state.
“I find it exciting,” McGeehan said.
By Jeremy Gonsior
11 June 2008
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