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E-M:/ MEC Capitol Update - Deregulation of Electric Utilities

Enviro-Mich message from James Clift <jamesmec@voyager.net>

On May 23rd, the Michigan Senate passed the Governor's deregulation bill
in a form that continues to ignore the negative environmental impacts of
power production. Overall, the legislation is still one of the weakest
bills in the country when it comes to environmental protection.

What is in the bill:

Low-income assistance and energy efficiency trust fund - Language was
added that might provide some funding for low-income assistance and
energy efficiency but does not guarantee it.  What the bill does is try
to capture savings that might arise out of allowing the utilities to
securitize their debts (sell bonds).  Any savings would first be used to
fund the 5% rate reduction for residential customers. Then a similar cut
would be made in stranded costs. Anything left over for a period of six
years, up to a cap would be placed in a low-income assistance and energy
efficiency trust fund.  The language used is a utility lawyers dream.
The actual amount available could be anywhere between $0 and $50 million
dollars annually.

Disclosure - Utilities will have to disclose their sources of energy by
type and the relative emissions from those sources.

What's not in the bill:

Anything that require cleaner energy in the future - The MEC will
continue to advocate for provisions that would require cleaner energy
through the regulation of mercury emissions, requirements for utilities
to update pollution control equipment and a minimum funding level for
energy efficiency.

The bill is currently before the House Energy and Technology Committee.
The committee members are Reps. Middaugh, Bradstreet, Birkholz, Bisbee,
Cassis, Garcia, Gosselin, Howell, Kowall, Kuipers, Richardville,
Shulman, Thomas, B. Brown, Daniels, Hansen, Lemmons, Neumann, Quarles,
Schauer and Woodward.  Action is expected on the bill in the next two

Please contact your representative, and representatives on the committee
and urge them to vote for cleaner energy.  The Great Lakes deserve
greater protection than they are getting from the current legislation.

Contact info:

STATE LEGISLATURE HOMEPAGE:  http://michiganlegislature.org/
SEARCH FOR ANY BILL:         http://michiganlegislature.org/find.asp


HOUSE MEMBERS:   http://db.voyager.net/house/cgi-bin/house-query.cgi


HOUSE MEMBERS:   http://www.gongwer.com/biohse.html
SENATE MEMBERS:  http://www.gongwer.com/biosen.html

Prepared by:

James Clift
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste. 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 487-9539

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