Attorney General Bill Schuette and the Clean Power Plan: Wrong on the Facts, Wrong on the Law, Wrong for Michigan

The latest evidence that Attorney General Bill Schuette is more interested in self-promotion than serving the people of Michigan is found in the court filings challenging the Clean Power Plan. The first page of the lawsuit lists 24 states and one individual -- Bill Schuette. Not exactly who you want chairing the Republican Attorney General Association, but as of today that is precisely the case.

Schuette is wrong to sue on the Clean Power Plan and this is the second time he has done so. Like the first suit, which was dismissed, his current motion for stay is likely to fail because it would require an extraordinary circumstance. Not liking the Clean Power Plan, at least to me, is hardly an extraordinary circumstance. But you don't have to take my word for it, the Supreme Court has already ruled that we can and should regulate harmful emissions and the lawsuit will likely be tossed out like the other seven failed attempts.

Schuette is wrong about the Clean Power Plan causing the price of electricity to increase. In truth, a strong Clean Power Plan could save Michigan families and businesses over $1 billion on their electric bills. Increases in energy efficiency alone will drive electric bills down by $7 per month. Michigan has already benefited from growth in clean power through Michigan's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which has driven more than $2.9 billion in new investments for the state and created new clean energy jobs.

Schuette is wrong about the Clean Power Plan placing jobs at risk. The Clean Power Plan can drive good high paying jobs in the clean tech sector and Michiganders are positioned to earn thousands of those jobs. In fact, Michigan's clean economy is helping power the state's recovery, employing more than 76,000 workers, with an average annual wage of $40,558. As Michigan expands its clean energy production, the renewable energy industry could support nearly 21,000 jobs in manufacturing alone by 2020, if the industry sources components from local manufacturers.

Schuette is wrong about the Clean Power Plan costing Michigan families more. The Clean Power Plan will have tremendous economic and public health benefits for Michigan families. According to the U.S. EPA, it will significantly reduce exposure to particle pollution and ozone which could avoid; 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, 1700 heart attacks, and 300,000 missed school and work days. For every dollar invested through the Clean Power Plan, families can see up to $4 in health benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11.5 percent of Michigan's adult population and 10.9 percent of Michigan's children in the state suffer from asthma and those Michiganders will see significant health benefits.

With these kinds of numbers, it's easy to see why 64% of Michiganders support the Clean Power Plan and further limits on dangerous carbon pollution. If we fail to tackle the problem of carbon pollution, Michigan families will lose more of their hard earned dollars, valuable jobs and the health benefits of cleaner air - which is priceless.

Schuette is wrong to side with special interests and polluters. Instead, he should be putting his energy into create good jobs, cleaner air, and cheaper electric bills for the people of Michigan. Standing in the way of a solution by fighting a losing legal battle is just plain wrong for the people of Michigan and for future generations.


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