To say Michigan energy is the foundation of our economy would not be much of an exaggeration—electricity is one of the few industries that has a direct or indirect effect on every other sector.
If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you may have noticed our “Michigan Energy Made It” campaign. Michigan-owned and -operated electricity providers help power nearly every aspect of our lives in ways we may rarely think about. Today, we want to explore a few examples that specifically underscore the important role Michigan energy plays in our state and local economies.
The food and agriculture industry employs 923,000 workers and contributes $96 billion to the state’s economy annually, including millions of dollars worth of apples, cherries, and blueberries. We also process many agricultural products, such as cereal in Battle Creek.
Agriculture is widely acknowledged to be an energy-intensive industry. Modern farming technology helps create unprecedented efficiencies that have helped our agricultural production exponentially over the past century. Among numerous energy uses, farmers and ranchers rely on electricity to operate important machinery, pump water for irrigation, and heat and cool livestock and dairy operations.
Michigan’s farmers also recognize the importance of energy. Earlier this year, during a real-time survey at the Michigan Farm Bureau Lansing Legislative Seminar, 43 percent of respondents singled out energy supply and cost as their greatest concern.
Michigan tourism is a $17.7 billion industry that supports nearly 200,000 local jobs. While much of this takes place in our state’s great wilderness and rural areas, tourists still need ways to get there—and Michigan energy made the roads, street lights, and bridges to help them do just that. Locally powered electricity and natural gas also help power the restaurants and hotels where tourists dine and stay.
In metropolitan areas like Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids, Michigan energy powers our state’s museums, galleries, entertainment complexes, and other attractions. Can you imagine looking at artifacts in the Henry Ford Museum without light, listening to a concert at the DTE Energy Music Theater without amplified sound, or watching a night game at Comerica Park without electricity?
Manufacturing accounted for $82.3 billion in economic output in 2013 and directly employs 565,000 hard-working Michiganders.
Obviously, you can step into any factory and immediately observe the impact of Michigan energy. The floor is illuminated by electric lights and complex HVAC systems maintain a productive environment summer and winter; electricity powers large machinery and technology components and keeps our assembly lines moving; and it helps produce and process the raw materials used. Modern manufacturing is simply impossible without reliable, affordable power.
Plastics, computers and electronics, furniture, chemical products, and of course our fabled automobiles are just a few of the many products Michigan manufactures thanks in large part to locally produced energy.
How does local energy power your job? Let us know how you use Michigan energy at work—or at play.