Gov. Rick Snyder has laid out his vision for a “no regrets” energy future by 2025, calling for an emphasis on eliminating energy waste and replacing coal with newer, cleaner technologies – natural gas and renewables. “Michigan needs an energy policy that ensures we can be adaptable, have energy that is reliable and affordable, and protect our environment,” he said.
Snyder’s report laid out four key goals for the state’s energy policy, including:
- Adaptability. Eliminate energy waste and reduce coal and replace it with newer, cleaner technologies.
- Reliability. Become a reliability leader in both reducing the average number of outages and their length, and ensure that Michigan never experiences massive outages due to lack of supply.
- Affordability. Residential customers should spend less on their combined energy bills (electric and natural gas) than the national average. The state also needs to ensure that energy-intensive industries can choose Michigan for job and investment decisions to better compete.
- Protect the Environment. Energy generation needs to be part of a healthier future for Michigan citizens by reducing mercury emissions and pollution that creates acid rain and other particles in the air.
Snyder also called for increasing the renewable portfolio based on relative cost, reliability and environmental benefits. The recommendations came after his “Special Message on Energy and the Environment” in 2012, and the recent release of four energy reports compiled from public input by the MPSC and Michigan Energy Office.
“In remarks to the media this week, Governor Snyder made clear that increasing the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) as well as Energy Optimization targets are important priorities,” notes Craig Borr, CEO of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA). “We expect a good deal of dialogue on energy matters in 2014, with possible action in 2015, and MECA will be actively involved.”