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Re: E-M:/ Competing Energy Press Conferences: Protecting Ratepayers vs. "Streamlining" regulation of Power Plants



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Enviro-Mich message from "Cynthia Price" <skyprice@gmail.com>
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When Bill McKibben was at Calvin College's January series a few weeks
ago, he responded to a question about coal plants by saying, "Fighting
new coal burning plants is the best thing people can do right now."
Not even "may be the best thing" -- just "IS the best thing..." I
thought that was pretty powerful.

This must be stopped.

Cynthia Price
Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council


On 1/22/08, Anne Woiwode <Anne.Woiwode@sierraclub.org> wrote:
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <Anne.Woiwode@sierraclub.org>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Folks:
>
> Today Reps. Fred Miller, Marie Donigan, Robert Jones, Kathleen Law and Gabe
> Leland joined a press conference to announce legislation they and others are
> introducing to protect YOU, the ratepayer, from virtually certain drastic
> increases in the costs of electricity if power companies decide to invest
> scarce dollars in coal fueled power plants instead of renewable energy.  The
> legislation is supported by the Clean Energy NOW coalition and United
> Steelworkers.
>
> With 4 coal plant permit applications before the MDEQ RIGHT NOW, and with
> virtually guaranteed requirements to control CO2 emissions in the near
> future, this legislation (which is being drafted now) would place the risk
> of billions of additional dollars of costs for controlling CO2 where it
> belongs: on the power companies and their shareholders that stand to get
> rich off this new coal rush.
>
> This is particularly important because legislation being discussed in the
> Legislature right now would dramatically reduce the protection of
> ratepayers, particularly residential ratepayers, from unreasonable costs
> from new or expanded power plants.  Two concepts in particular are of
> concern: 1) utilities could "file and implement" increased rates for
> electricity without waiting for the MPSC to first determine if the costs
> were justified, and could do this once every 9 months even if the prior case
> was not resolved (MPSC would decide after the fact and could require
> refunds); and 2) proposals to "deskew" rates mean that residential
> ratepayers would be seeing higher rates and larger increases than
> manufacturers based on the claim that it is more efficient to serve large
> users instead of residential users.
>
> Meanwhile, today a vague proposal was announced by Senate and House
> Republicans that apparently would "streamline" regulations so that at least
> one form of coal fueled power plant could move even faster.  Bundled up by
> supporters of the proposed Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle or IGCC
> proposal for the Alma Energy Park, the message comes through loud and clear
> that these folks don't want to have to face Michigan's environmental
> standards, nor presumably to give the public a chance to fully participate
> in consideration of facilities like these that would bind up our energy
> investments for generations.  This 10 bill package has virtually no details
> available, but the green tinged rhetoric clearly was designed to obscure the
> fact that it is intending to help the construction of one or more unneeded
> new coal plants in Michigan.
>
> What's important now is for YOU and others who care about Michigan's future
> to be clear with your own State Senator (go to www.senate.mi.gov ) and State
> Representative (go to http://www.house.mi.gov/find_a_rep.asp  ) that you
> want renewables, you want costs of any risky coal fueled plants to be
> carried by the shareholders and companies, and you want Michigan to get
> smart about YOUR family's energy future.
>
>
> Anne Woiwode, State Director
> Sierra Club Michigan Chapter
> (517) 484-2372
>
>
> More clean energy plans headed for Michigan Legislature
> 1/22/2008, 10:52 a.m. ET
> The Associated Press
>
>
> LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Tax credits for utilities to create and buy clean
> energy are keys to plans being introduced at the state Capitol.
>
> The proposals outlined Tuesday aim to help projects such as an energy
> research park planned for Alma. A company wants to use a new technology
> that it says is cleaner than the traditional way of burning coal to get
> electrical power.
>
> Senate Republicans took the lead in announcing Tuesday's plan. But it has
> support from some Democrats.
>
> Several other clean and renewable energy plans have been introduced in the
> Legislature.
>
> Clean or renewable energy is considered crucial to the future of
> Michigan's economy and environment.
>
>
>
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