Granholm: Health, climate bills could boost Michigan's economy

The climate change and healthcare bills before Congress could bolster the state of Michigan's long-struggling economy, its governor argued Sunday.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) said that the health bill would help her state's manufacturers keep down costs, while the climate bill would create "opportunities" for their economy.

Granholm said during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" that the healthcare bill "will help manufacturers, help job providers across the country because you'll have a shared responsibility for the costs that other businesses in other countries don't have."

"I do think that a climate change bill that will create manufacturing opportunities in the United States is critical," she added. "We need to be the place, the nation and frankly Michigan needs to be and intends to be the state that leads the world in finding the solutions to energy independence and making those products."

Those confident endorsements come as some Midwestern senators in both parties have expressed concern that the climate bill would actually unfairly target their home states. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is leading a bloc of such senators, who are asking for more assistance to manufacturers, so they can stay competitive with overseas manufacturers.

The two-term Democratic governor said that her state and others must "partner" with the federal government to make their business environments more friendly to clean energy manufacturing.

Granholm mentioned assistance from the federal government to make it easier for consumers to purchase more affordable electric vehicles from troubled automakers as one way to help Michigan, as well as lowering U.S. emissions.

"If we can electrify the vehicle, you will see a complete eliminate or certainly a huge lessening of our reliance on foreign oil. That's a huge step. But you have to be able to make those cars affordable," she said. "So one of the things that the federal government has done and must continue to do, in fact, enhance, is to give people the ability to buy those vehicles by giving them a tax credit or some incentive to purchase the electric vehicle."