Over 600 Michigan residents are pushing their Mayors to sign on to a letter asking the Public Service Commission if building a one billion dollar gas plant is necessary, when cleaner, cheaper options are available. The 392 US Climate Mayors committed to upholding the Paris Climate agreement goals and the 190 Mayors pledging for 100% clean energy prove there is a growing movement for cities to step up to fight climate change. For those Mayors in Michigan, this sign on letter is one way to put those aspirations into action at home.
With Michigan retiring multiple coal plants over the last few years and more retirements on the way, it begs the question: What will power Michigan in the future? The Michigan families that urged their mayors to take action believe utilities should be prioritizing cost-effective energy efficiency programs and renewables—not looking to replace coal with more fossil fuels. They want to see a future where the clean energy economy continues to grow beyond the over 92,000 jobs statewide and builds on the 12% cut in carbon pollution since 2012. Unfortunately, DTE’s proposal to build this massive plant says they are set on gas replacing coal without appropriately looking at alternatives.
The Public Service Commission will approve or deny the construction of the plant based upon its review of the utility’s application, testimony filed by interested parties, and the back and forth in hearings and written briefs. NRDC is working alongside Michigan Environmental Council and Sierra Club to critique DTE’s proposal and provide the critical data to support residents’ call for energy efficiency and renewables. In fact, by using DTE's own modeling software, we were able to show multiple scenarios the utility failed to explore where increasing energy efficiency, renewables, and demand response could save customers up to 2.5 billion dollars compared to the proposed gas plant.
Hearings for the case started Wednesday February 14 and will continue through Monday February 19 at the Michigan Public Service Commission and are open to the public. Stop by and listen in and if you want your Mayor to sign on, click here.
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Michigan wisely passed clean energy legislation back in December, but starting today that legislation is giving you a voice.