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Governor Snyder Gives Michigan the Gift of a Promising Energy Future

Ariana Gonzalez

Posted December 19, 2013

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Michiganders have cause for celebration today following Governor Rick Snyder’s energy policy announcement delivered this morning. The speech boasted the state’s smart, forward-thinking approach to adaptability, reliability, affordability, and protection of the environment. These remarks come as a refreshing example of what a Midwest state is capable and willing to do for the benefit of its citizens, economy, and country.

A few particularly encouraging points on energy efficiency, renewables, and pollution reduction made this morning illuminate areas of real progress and warrant special attention.

1. Eliminating Energy Waste

The Governor intends to break away from wasteful energy practices by looking at energy efficiency as a resource and allowing it to compete head to head with power plant builds. He recognizes that the best way to do this is to capture all cost-effective efficiency. In doing so, the state reaps large affordability and environmental benefits.

Steps Needed to Achieve This:

  • Capturing all cost-effective energy efficiency/Removal of the spending cap— A framework to capture all of the potential for cost-effective energy efficiency removes arbitrary caps and biases against a least-cost resource option. If energy efficiency savings are less expensive to acquire than it would be to meet that same electricity demand by generating power in a power plant, transmitting it to a community and distributing it to customers, then the utility should not be limited from capturing that savings. Previously, utilities’ were restricted to spending no more than 2% of revenues on their energy efficiency budgets resulting in millions of dollars in savings left on the table. This commitment puts that money back in consumers’ pocket.
  • Minimum energy efficiency targets—It needs to be clear that utilities will be required to keep delivering at least the current level of annual energy savings, which lowers electricity demand by 1% per year.  A 1% floor ensures that moving forward utilities will not do less than they are already doing or only go after low-hanging fruit, but will strive to seize all energy efficiency opportunities. Current policy requires electricity savings of 1% of previous year's retail sales in 2012 and thereafter—a target that has been not only reached, but exceeded every year.

2. Capitalizing on Renewable Potential

A report commissioned by the Governor earlier this year revealed that Michigan can feasibly and affordably reach a 30% renewable energy standard. This morning he made clear that he will be chasing that potential on the road to a more affordable and healthier energy generation in Michigan.  More investment in renewable energy is necessary for a more meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, provides greater economic development and job creating benefits for Michigan, and contributes to reliability by diversifying resource options. 

3. Reducing Pollution

Michiganders can literally breathe easier knowing Governor Snyder has taken a stand to reduce mercury, acid rain, and other particulate pollution in the state. In addition to increasing investment in renewables, the Governor specified that a large piece of reducing pollution will also come from a commitment to seriously cutting coal consumption. This largely ties back to his priority of health. Poor air quality and the high costs of public health are threats in Michigan’s cities and the Governor is thoughtfully promoting a cleaner outlook for current and future generations.

The Gift that Keeps Giving

Michigan is taking the lead in demonstrating that each state has a vast, untapped potential to do more when it comes to an energy policy that is attentive to its communities and resources. Governor Snyder’s commitments indicate a dedication to an energy policy that is cleaner, more reliable, and gets the most bang for its buck for years to come. 2013 was a great year dedicated to gathering information on the state’s energy issues, but 2014 is primed to be even better as we work together to turn these goals into a reality.

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Comments (Add yours)

Brindley ByrdDec 20 2013 09:15 AM

Great to see that someone reminds folks that Michigan's energy efficiency resource standards DO NOT end in 2015. They do in fact continue at the 1% savings level. Nice work Ariana!!

shepard145Dec 20 2013 12:05 PM

Shocking. So the first adult Governor Michigan has had in 8 long, failed years has bought into the green energy fraud!! I am VERY DISAPPOINTED!! Governor Snyder, in case you are relying on environmental stooges for advice, this is the logic you are now supporting: a. atmospheric CO2 levels control the earth's weather; b. Human activity relative to CO2 controls the earth's weather; CO2 levels produced by coal power plants control the earth's weather; changes in CO2 levels controlled by humans control the earth's weather; small changes in CO2 change the earth's weather so if Michigan residents pay enough for wind and solar power, the planet will get colder because we control the earth's weather by how we heat, cool and light our homes!!! THAT IS INSANE. MICHIGAN NEEDS THE CHEAPEST POWER POSSIBLE TO REMAIN AS COMPETITIVE WITH OTHER STATES AND COUNTRIES AS POSSIBLE, INCREASING THE STATE'S STANDARD OF LIVING!!! Europe, who has wasted BILLIONS on this green energy nonsense is now trying to correct, but the MONEY IS GONE. The only people who support this FRAUD are those who SELL IT!! YOU ARE LISTENING TO THE LIES OF LOBBIESTS!! TALK TO ANY PROFESSIONAL ELECTRICAL ENGINEER FOR THE REAL TRUTH.

Nate JonkerDec 20 2013 04:18 PM

30% renewals is a great goal - especially if Michigan companies are building the turbines, blades, solar panels, etc. Too many (most?) of current renewal equipment is built overseas! The Governor must demonstrate (show me the numbers) that he supports Michigan manufacturers providing renewals.

Mike HayesDec 21 2013 07:31 PM

All animals both land and sea emit greenhouse gases. Herbivores emit more because they eat plant matter. The scientific terminology to describe this phenomena is called flatulence. This might sound a bit ludicrous, but mainstream biologists around the world were publishing articles about the flatulence of cows being a primary factor in the greenhouse effect in the 1990s. FLATULENCE, how appropriate!

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