Immediate Release: For
January 4, 2006 Mike Shriberg, Director
for Response to Michigan’s Energy Crunch
Implementing Report Recommendations Will Reduce Energy Burden and Create
LANSING—With a 50% increase in natural gas
heating costs this winter and gasoline spiking at more than $3.00 per gallon
last summer, PIRGIM is calling on state lawmakers and the Governor to take
actions to help address the growing energy cost burden and supply shortage Michiganders
“With energy costs hitting consumers hard this year as a consequence of
over-reliance on oil and gas imports, it’s time for an all-hands-on-deck
effort to adopt energy solutions that keep energy costs down and keep energy
dollars in our state,” said Mike Shriberg, PIRGIM’s State Director.
“The good news is there are policies and programs that have worked in
other states and can make a difference here.”
The call to action was backed with the release
of a PIRGIM Report that
proposed 5 recommendations and 12 specific action steps that Michigan’s leaders can take now to help with current high heating
bills and to help curb the growing dependence on imported fossil fuels. These actions include an increased emphasis
on energy efficiency, energy conservation and renewable energy.
This report release comes the day after Michigan’s Public Service Commission (PSC) released its electric Capacity
Needs Forum report, which includes a call for energy efficiency and renewable
energy development in the next five years but also building one or two more
coal-fired power plants in the long-term.
“Michigan has all the energy resources that it needs,” said
Shriberg. “Rather than spending
billions to build new coal-fired power plants that rely on imported, polluting
fossil fuels, Michigan should rely on cost-effective, in-state energy solutions, such as
energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy sources.”
recommends that the legislature and administration work together to:
incentives and standards for energy-efficient products and services;
2. Reinstate utility energy efficiency programs and Public Benefits Fund;
3. Ensure that new buildings are energy efficient by updating building codes;
4. Establish state government as a leader and driver of energy efficiency and
5. Pass a strong Renewable Energy Standard and remove unfair barriers to
”Implementing these recommendations would
create tens of thousands of jobs and save hundreds of thousands of dollars in
energy costs,” said Shriberg. “It’s
time to help consumers save money today.
It’s also time to adopt solutions that will prevent energy cost
crises next year and beyond.”
Currently, Michigan imports nearly all of its energy from out-of-state, and over $18
billion (5% of Michigan’s GSP) out of over $27 billion in energy spending goes to
out-of-state entities. “Michigan’s limited financial resources are flowing out of the state
while polluting, non-renewable fuels flow in.
Michigan cannot afford to wait any longer for strong energy independence
polices,” said Shriberg.
In Michigan, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy contributed over $1.5 million in
the past 3 election cycles. These special
interests have so far delayed significant action in promoting energy
efficiency, conservation and renewable energy.
Congress and the Bush Administration have also failed to help promote
However, with the Michigan Legislature, PSC and Governor
vowing to focus on energy issues because of the public outcry over energy costs,
PIRGIM expects significant policy action in 2006. The PIRGIM Report – Responding to
Michigan’s Energy Crisis: 5 Steps for Michigan’s Leaders to Invest
in a Smarter Energy Future – points to clean, simple,
smart energy solutions.
“2006 will be a pivotal year in moving Michigan’s toward energy efficiency and independence. To address
this ongoing crisis, Michigan can and should play a critical role in filling the leadership
vacuum left by those in Washington, D.C.,” said Shriberg.
“Our elected leaders now know how to address
Michigan’s energy crisis; the question is whether they have the
political will to act,” said Shriberg.
The full report is available at www.pirgim.org (under “Reports”)
or directly from the author.
PIRGIM is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest
organization. With over 10,000 members
across the state and offices in Lansing and Ann Arbor, PIRGIM has
worked since 1972 to represent the interests of Michigan’s
consumers and the environment.