A Little Light in These Hard Times

Wonderful news arrived today from Michigan, in time for the holiday weekend: another dirty coal plant proposal has been derailed.  Consumers Energy of Michigan announced suspension of the 830 megawatt coal plant proposed for shores Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron. This plant would have emitted approximately 8 million tons of CO2 per year, along with mercury, NOx, SOx, particulate matter, and toxic coal ash.

NRDC and a coalition of environmental and community groups has challenged the logic, environmental legality and the economic wisdom of the plant from the inception of the proposed plant. The range of damaging impacts the new plant would have on the public health and safety, and pocket books of rate payers, seemed bad enough to stop the plant, especially in light of the fact that the plant was totally unnecessary.

A study commissioned and released by NRDC in summer 2009 demonstrated that there is no need for the proposed coal plant, because Michigan can meet its energy needs through energy efficiency and non-coal alternatives, even if some existing coal capacity is shut down. And the alternatives are better for the both environment and  the economy of Michigan: investments in energy efficiency and renewable resources bring good American jobs to the community, cut energy costs and increase reliability of the electric system.

We are extremely pleased that Consumers Energy has embraced our analysis by concluding that the facility "isn't consistent with today's market conditions," and suspended wasteful investment in a dirty, unnecessary coal plant. It is a win for the environment, the economy and the rate payers.

For accepting the logic of our position, we sincerely thank Consumers.

We also thank the company’s Senior Vice President for his amusing comment to the Bay City Times that "the deferment has nothing to do with opposition from the Natural Resources Defense Council.”

In these hard times a little humor is always welcome! Especially when accompanied by the suspension of damaging coal plant. Happy Memorial Weekend.