Snyder outlines a new state energy mandate
Gov. Rick Snyder provided a legacy holiday gift and a real opportunity for a healthier New Year for Michiganders when he announced a list of goals for the state’s energy policy, which also offsets the drama of cliff-hanger debates as Michigan nears the sunset date of its 2015 renewable energy goals set in 2008. The Business Journal appreciates planning and goal-setting and lauds the governor’s remarks as a true example of “relentless, positive action.” His primary goals include pricing “to ensure energy-intensive industries can choose Michigan for job and investment decisions to better compete.”
Associated Press reported Snyder emphasized a “no regrets” energy future by 2025. Snyder’s office released his list to the media indicating key goals:
—Eliminate energy waste and reduce coal and replace it with newer, cleaner technologies: natural gas and renewable.
—Michigan “should become a leader in reliability in both reducing the average number of outages” and their duration, and ensure the state never experiences massive outages due to lack of supply.
—Residential customers should spend less on their combined energy bills (electric and natural gas) than the national average.
—Michigan’s energy generation needs to be part of a healthier future, reducing mercury emissions, pollution that creates acid rain, and particles in the air.
Snyder called for an “increase in the renewable portfolio based on relative cost, reliability and environmental benefits.”
His goals are based on a year-long study and the resulting four energy reports by Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman John Quackenbush and Michigan Energy Office Director Steve Bakkal.
Decisions announced by the Holland Board of Public Works and Wolverine Power Cooperative were released the same day as Snyder’s goals. Both entities announced decisions that settle years-long pending litigation and public outcry. Wolverine will no longer pursue a joint venture with We Energies for the Presque Isle coal-fired power plant; Holland BPW and the city of Holland announced an agreement with the Sierra Club to cease burning coal at the three remaining units in the James De Young power plant system. Holland city officials said the largest coal-fired electric-generating unit will cease burning coal in 2016, and the two smaller units will gradually reduce coal use beginning in 2020, ceasing by 2024. Holland leaders have signed two power purchase agreements for wind energy, including one with a Gratiot County facility under construction.
Snyder administration officials also are working with Ohio state government leaders to provide assistance to manufacturers of energy-efficiency products in both states to develop technology and prototypes to improve manufacturing processes.
The proactive goals and programs help assure “Blue Economy” sustainability.