Michigan's Governor and State DNRE Say "No" to New Coal Plant | Wis.Community

Michigan's Governor and State DNRE Say "No" to New Coal Plant

Cross-posted from my blog, Kaufman's Gull at kaufmansgull.com


Back in 2003 when WE Energies proposed building two new units of coal-fired power in Oak Creek, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin called for a End of debate, at least at the State Capitol.

In January of 2004 the Wisconsin DNR approved an air pollution permit for the plants, essentially abdicating its role as the primary protector of Wisconsin's natural resources. Abundant electricity became a resource more important than clean air and clean water.

Today we in Southeastern Wisconsin have dirty air (the NWS issued an air quality watch for today and encourages all of us to "practice energy conservation"), too much electric power, and higher electric bills because we have to help pay for the building of the coal plants.

Contrast Wisconsin's capitulation to Big Coal with what the brave and luxurious State of Michigan did last Friday: The DNRE ruled, based on a report from the Michigan Public Service Commission, that the coal plant is not needed and there are actually cheaper, cleaner ways of providing electric power to Northern Michigan. Conservation, for example. (When did conservation become a "left-wing" thing? Birds have two wings, conservationists only one.)

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission, acting in the public interest, did reject Alliant Energy's proposed coal plant in Cassville in 2008 on issues of cost and global warming concerns; ordinary air pollution didn't much factor in. But it was too late for us in the southeastern part of the state, where the PSC had ruled in favor of the two new Oak Creek plants five years earlier.

The Rogers City coal plant was denied despite having received $2.7 million in federal grant money to build a carbon capture system. Had Michigan's DNRE signed off on the coal plant by March 31st, Wolverine would have received $147 million more federal money. An estimated 2,500 construction jobs were also not enough to sway Michigan.

Gov. Granholm's directive earlier this year to assess alternatives to all coal power

Good for her. Good for Michigan.


May 24, 2010 - 10:21am