Gov. releases goals for Mich. energy policy

Michigan needs an energy policy with an emphasis on eliminating energy waste, and replacing coal with natural gas and renewable sources, Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday.
AP Wire
Dec 20, 2013

Snyder released several goals for the state's energy policy, which his office said should amount to a "no regrets" energy future by 2025. The Republican governor said in a statement that the goals should be "reasonable, achievable and efficient."

Snyder says policy should have adaptability, reliability and affordability. He says it also should protect the environment.

"Michigan needs an energy policy that ensures we can be adaptable, have energy that is reliable and affordable, and protect our environment," Snyder said. "We should set a reasonable, achievable, and efficient range of goals for 2025."

The recommendations come after Snyder's Special Message on Energy and the Environment last year and after the submission last month of four energy reports by Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman John Quackenbush and Michigan Energy Office Director Steve Bakkal.

Environmental and science advocates praised the announcement but said the test of its meaning will be in its details and implementation.

"Gov. Snyder has done his due diligence and studied this issue intensely for over a year. Now it's time to lead," Tiffany Hartung, a Sierra Club activist and leader of the group's campaign to phase out use of coal, said in an email. "He must take action now to ensure that Michigan's clean energy economy will grow and thrive."

"The governor is right to recognize the great risk of continuing Michigan's dependence on coal to meet its energy needs," said Steven Frenkel, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Midwest office in Chicago. "With Michigan's current renewable energy standard leveling off in 2015, Michigan can't afford to lose momentum. Michigan's clean energy industry needs a clear signal that the state is open for business."

Rebecca Stanfield, program policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council's Chicago office, said that Snyder's remarks "point the way to a path that reduces electric costs, cuts harmful pollution and puts people to work across the state building the energy system of the 21st century."

Stanfield said that Michigan's current clean energy laws have been a success but "leave a lot on the table."

"While he has stopped short of making specific policy recommendations, it is critical that he has his sights set on the right goals: maximizing energy efficiency, and ramping up clean renewable power to meet the state's electricity needs," she said in a statement. "We're looking forward to taking the next step - writing and implementing a policy blueprint to achieve those goals."

Michigan energy reports: http://www.michigan.gov/energy

Comments

SmallBusinessOwner

Phasing out Coal Burning long overdue. We try to attract tourists to GH and then have an ugly polluting coal plant right in the center of town. Duh. Nice going City Planners.

rukidding

Right, like anybody currently involved in planning had anything to do with the power plant location. When was it built, does it have wonderful access for the fuel delivery to continue to operate etc? I thought it was placed rather nicely given the time it was erected. Also, we wouldn't have our wonderful snow melt system downtown if it were located elsewhere. Count your blessings and complain less, it's Christmas.

SmallBusinessOwner

The Grand Haven Coal plant was totally appropriate when it was first authorized in 1896. It is not appropriate now. I'm not complaining. It is time that the city planners woke up to the 21st Century. Natural Gas is cheaper, orders of magnitude cleaner, will melt your snow just as quickly. It does not require constant dredging of the channel and will not poison us and the Lake with Mercury. You will not need a tall smokestack to get rid of poisonous coal vapors with Natural Gas, The plant can stay where it is.

Lanivan

Most states have RPS policies in place that have more aggressive targets than the 10% Michigan has established. SmallBusinessOwner is right on about our coal plant in Grand Haven - besides the pollution coal-powered electrical plants emit, there is also the fact that currently in Michigan, the levelized costs of electrical generation are as follows (as provided in a recent state report):

Natural gas: $67 per MWh
Wind: $87 per MWh
Coal: $136 per MWh

Coal-fired plants all across the country are converting to natural gas, to the tune of 82% growth just in 2013.

ghjhs

Who ownes BLP? the city.I work in ferrysburg,not far from the BLP an noticed that my car is always dusty with a light flim of white stuff,one day I really looked at it really close and noticed some of it was kinda square thin pices,than it dawned on me ,it must be from the power plant,I wonder how safe this is to be breathing in, it's every were.

Tri-cities realist

Perhaps the white stuff is snow! Either way, I'm sure it is safe, feel free to inhale it and report back to us after 10 years.

City worker

It is physically impossible for particulate to be emitted from the stack due to its design. Grand haven has one of the cleanest power plants in the Midwest U.S, and by the way it averages a cost of $40 per mw for its clean coal electrical production.

Say no to new taxes

Watch how fast natural gas prices rise as power company's switch from coal. Let the dust settle before making the switch, coal has worked well for a long time.

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