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Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Addresses U.S. House Subcommittee on NextEnergy Initiative

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Jennifer Kopp
(517) 335-4590

Plan to Develop Michigan into a World Alternative Energy Leader Presented to Congressional Leaders

Doug Rothwell, president & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) testified today in front of the U.S. House Science Subcommittee detailing Michigan’s innovative NextEnergy plan.

“NextEnergy is a comprehensive set of actions and incentives designed to position Michigan as a center for alternative energy technology research and development, education and manufacturing,” Rothwell said at the subcommittee hearing.

NextEnergy includes consumer and business tax incentives for new alternative energy investments.The plan also features a 700-acre, tax-free zone designed to attract new alternative energy business developments.The zone will include the NextEnergy Center, an alternative energy research, development and educational facility.

Rothwell also addressed the subcommittee on the importance of the federal government assisting regional initiatives, such as NextEnergy, designed to further develop the country’s alternative energy technology and manufacturing presence.He noted that many other nations are competing with the U.S. to take the lead in this emerging industry.

As a nation we cannot assume that the United States will automatically be crowned the leader of alternative energy technology and manufacturing.Companies in Europe, Asia and Canada are already major players, and many other nations are sparring to take the lead…With so much at stake in terms of jobs and our economy, I believe it is vital for Congress to see alternative fuel technologies as worthy of greater attention and investment from the federal government,” Rothwell said.

Rothwell was one of five witnesses from throughout the nation testifying at the hearing titled, “FreedomCAR: Getting New Technology into the Marketplace.”The other speakers included Amory B. Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute; Bryon McCormick, General Motors Corporation; Roger Saillant, Plug Power, Inc.; and Robert Templin, Paice Corporation.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.