A week and a half ago, the Michigan Public Service Commission released a report concerning the state’s progress of Public Act 295, issued in 2008. This Act requires that by the end of 2015, the state’s electric providers get 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources. According to the report, Michigan’s renewable energy output is at 8.1 percent, and MPSC seems very optimistic that the goal of 10 percent will be met by the end of this year.

But, we shouldn’t stop there. The act terminates at the end of this year, and rather than abandoning the efforts already in place, we should build off of the growing momentum. By increasing Michigan’s use of renewable energy, an incredible amount of health benefits could follow in its wake. As of now, Michigan ranks fifth in the nation in premature deaths, hospital admissions and heart attacks attributed to coal-fired power plant pollution. We can, and must, do better than this.

By demanding cleaner energy and tapping into Michigan’s solar and wind power potential, we will reduce these pollutant-induced diseases. Energy policy, after all, can protect our health.

Meghan Laarman is an LSA sophomore.

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