ISHPEMING — More than half of Michigan’s electricity is currently generated by burning coal. The coal has to be shipped in from West Virginia, Ohio and elsewhere because Michigan has none of its own.

More and more people are recognizing the importance of generating electricity from resources that can be found within the state. That can sometimes mean natural gas, but it often means renewable sources like wind, solar and wood biomass.

“Especially in the U.P., families and businesses face tremendous challenges when it comes to energy,” Marquette Green Energy managing member Stewart Harrison said. “Overall, we have some of the highest energy costs in the nation, putting additional strain on family budgets and making our businesses less competitive and our state less attractive for business recruitment.”

Marquette Green Energy is developing a wood biomass heat and power plant at K.I. Sawyer. Harrison took part in a telephone news conference by the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum this afternoon in support of three new bills in the Michigan House to encourage clean energy production.

“If a plant like the Presque Isle Plant does close ultimately, and I believe that it will, where are we going to get the power? Right now, we’re importing it from Wisconsin,” Harrison said. “It’s not the right thing. It’s not good for the security of the Upper Peninsula.”

State Representative Scott Dianda of Calumet wrote one of the new bills.