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Public Statements

Concannon's Countdown for Change! 15 Weeks Left

Op-Ed

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CONCANNON'S COUNTDOWN FOR CHANGE! 15 WEEKS LEFT

JOB CREATION

Just this week, the federal government released unemployment figures which showed new unemployment claims have risen to a level not seen since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in September of 2005. This has affected the housing market which- in our District- is still languishing.

Our economy is in transition and times are difficult for many of us in this District. Yet, Michigan is uniquely positioned to move its economy forward in the face of these difficult economic times if we make smart strategic choices to promote job growth in our District and in our State.

First, we need to make use of our natural resources, which cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the country. Our State sits within the largest body of fresh water in the world, and this body of water will play a vital role in renewing our commerce. The push for alternative energy creates an opportunity for Michigan since- unlike most other states in this country- we have the abundant natural resources with wind, water, and commodities like corn and sugar beets which can create alternative energy. Our District is already at the forefront of this development with ever increasing solar energy component production with Hemlock Semiconductor and related companies. These businesses- if we are smart- can provide a pathway from our dependence on traditional sources of energy.

This is why- unlike our current Representative in Congress- I would have voted in favor of the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act. This bill, which passed despite my opponent's "NO" vote, provides for comprehensive investment in wind, solar and geothermal energy systems. Big Oil was against the bill. When I am elected, I will work to promote alternative energy companies- not pit them against the oil companies in a game where one side must lose and one must win. In my view, alternative energy companies must be encouraged and helped- not hindered. By providing low cost energy generation compared to other states, Michigan will have a competitive advantage over other states competing for jobs.

Second, the alternative energy industry itself will produce jobs. For example, the components for solar power generation are large and only a few states have the transportation and manufacturing capable to manufacturing those components.

No matter how difficult the last few years have been, the future is bright for this District and this State. However, we need to have a Representative in the Congress who is not tied to the big money of big oil companies and, instead, is focused on the commerce of the future and not of the past.

The future presents a challenge for us but, also, a tremendous opportunity. With you, I hope to push Michigan forward to meet it!


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