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RE: E-M:/ SB 213 -- the Senate's Ridiculous Portfolio Standards and Energy Efficiency Eviseration Bill

At least 26 other states have passed renewable portfolio standards and the City of Grand Rapids achieved its own 25% RPS within 3 years of setting its goal. 


Political Will is what is lacking here - a failure of willingness to make sure Michigan is ready to move into the future, to do what is smart for our children both in clean energy and jobs, and apparently a willingness to allow the 8 coal fired power plant proposals and one nuclear power plant proposal in the state be built and operated at enormous costs to people today and indefinitely into the future.


The votes, by the way, are below on SB 213’s passage.  Apparently the votes don’t tell the whole story (voting ‘no’ may not have meant support for a stronger bill, for example) but the bottom line is that this lousy bill passed.  Find more about this bill, including the full version that passed, at http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2007-2008/billengrossed/Senate/pdf/2007-SEBS-0213.pdf or you can track the history of this bill by going to www.legislature.mi.gov and entering 213 into the space for bill number -- this will give more details and links to the Senate Journal with debate (go to page 244 of the June 27th version for the start of the debate, which continues piecemeal over a the next several pages).


Roll Call No. 509 Yeas—20

Allen Cropsey Jansen Patterson

Barcia Garcia Jelinek Richardville

Birkholz George Kahn Sanborn

Bishop Gilbert McManus Stamas

Cassis Hardiman Pappageorge VanWoerkom



Anderson Clark-Coleman Jacobs Schauer

Brater Clarke Kuipers Scott

Brown Gleason Olshove Switalski

Cherry Hunter Prusi


Excused - 1



Not Voting - 2

Basham   Thomas




Anne Woiwode, State Director

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

(517) 484-2372


From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net] On Behalf Of Eartha Melzer
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 12:21 PM
To: Anne Woiwode
Cc: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: Re: E-M:/ SB 213 -- the Senate's Ridiculous Portfolio Standards and Energy Efficiency Eviseration Bill



The Obama energy plan calls for a federal renewable energy standard -- 25 percent of all electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

If the Michigan energy package is a "poison pill" as you describe, how will clean energy advocates respond? Do you think there will be a shift in focus toward action on the federal level? Has anyone here examined the Obama energy plan? Is this workable?


Eartha Jane Melzer

News Reporter


On Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 11:57 AM, Anne Woiwode <Anne.Woiwode@sierraclub.org> wrote:

Some of the low-lights of Senator Patty Birkholz's Ridiculous Portfolio Standards and Energy Efficiency Eviseration Bill, SB 213, have been summarized by folks who know this issue inside out as literally page after page of specific wording elements that undercut or act to prevent the actual achievement of real energy efficiency or real Michigan-based renewable energy.


The technical details of this bill are such that it is quite likely that this legislation would result in little or no actual energy efficiency programs and no new Michigan-based renewable energy.   In fact, it's hard to imagine a bill that more thoroughly and consistently interjects elements that would undermine the ability to achieve true energy efficiency and Michigan based renewable energy. 


Specifically, it would allow a coal burning Integrated gasification combined-cycle or IGCC facility to count toward the percentage required by all providers that was originally an entirely renewable or energy efficiency standard.  The argument is that they would require carbon sequestration, but they also are careful to say this isn't "renewable", but rather a "CLEANER energy system" -- I like the "-er" at the end -- it makes it clear (or perhaps clear-er than otherwise) that is neither renewable, nor even clean energy -- it is just clean-ER than 50 year old coal fired power plants.  Not much of a bar. 


Energy Efficiency isn't even included in the definitions of the bill.  Perhaps this goes to the motto-- "Why do the smartest, cheapest and quickest things we can for our state's energy needs when we can cater to utilities and massive industry interests with no concern for Michigan's future instead?"


The net effect of many of the provisions regarding various "credits" for renewables in the bill add up to apparently in reality zero requirement for any actual renewable facilities to be built in Michigan.   Say goodbye to good jobs, while we cling to the sinking ship of massive old and new coal and nuclear facilties!


The bill would set up a difficult, expensive and burdensome process for actually accounting for an "integrated renewable energy portfolio plan", which is often a classic sign of a poison pill designed to kill off a bill by making it toxic to its original supporters, or making so cumbersome that even if passed it will be undone in the future because it is unworkable. It is apparent that this bill was designed as a massive poison pill.


More later or from others.  It is enough to make you want to …






Anne M. Woiwode, State Director

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter - 109 E. Grand River Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906  - 517-484-2372    anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org

Visit us at http://michigan.sierraclub.org/index.shtml


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"The idea of shifting to a carbon-free society appears to be technically feasible. The question is whether it's politically feasible or economically feasible."

Brian O'Neil, National Center for Atmospheric Research