Michigan — June 21, 2010 at 6:42 pm

VP Biden attends groundbreaking at new Michigan battery plant


It’s happening. Slowly but very, very surely, Michigan is shifting to a new energy economy and crawling out of its economic abyss. This past Friday we learned that we’re now no longer the state with the highest unemployment. Nevada is. We’re number TWO! We’re number TWO! Rah.

And, today, Vice President Joe Biden attended the groundbreaking ceremony of a new Dow Kokam lithium ion battery plant in our fair state.

“This is the beginning of a revolution in the production of energy in the country.”

Photo by Michael Randolph | The Bay City Times

More photos HERE.

The new 800,000 square foot plant in Midland will employ over 700 Michiganders. When it opens in 2015, it will be able to produce batteries for 30,000 all-electric or 60,000 hybrid vehicles a year.

“We’re rebuilding Michigan’s economy. We’re rebuilding America’s manufacturing base,” said Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, ahead of Biden’s speech. “We’re helping to redefine what it means to be made in America.”

The U.S. Department of Energy allocated $161 million to the project. The state granted Dow Kokam, a joint venture between Dow Chemical and battery maker Kokam, $180 million in tax incentives for the plant, which is slated to cost a total of $600 million. The Dow Kokam jobs will pay a weekly average wage of $730 with an additional $85 in health care benefits.

Biden called the government’s investment seed money, and credited Dow for raising private money to match its federal grant.

According to the Detroit News, this visit today is part of a “six-week Recovery Summer tour is designed to showcase projects around the country that show how the Obama administration’s Recovery Act funds are creating jobs and strengthening the manufacturing economy.”

Here’s some even better news for Michigan:

The plant is one of several advanced battery plants under way in the state.


This is all a direct result of years of effort by our most-awesome out-going/term-limited governor, Jennifer Granholm (shown here with my lovely wife, Anne Savage, last Saturday at the Washtenaw County Democratic Party Annual Dinner.) She gets high marks and rave reviews from me but, shamefull, she is not getting as much support and accolades from many Michigan Democrats as she deserves, in my opinion. There will come a day when we look back fondly at her two terms as governor and see that she laid the groundwork for Michigan’ resurgence. I feel certain of this.

Oh, and even in the automotive sector we’re seeing some good news:

Detroit 3 surpass foreign rivals in quality survey.

Please, sir, may I have some more?

I’m just sayin’…