Michigan Ratepayers Celebrate Historic Win for Greener, Healthier Energy

LANSING, Michigan – A diverse coalition of advocates across the state announces approval of Consumers Energy’s 15-year energy plan after work by thousands of Michigan residents called for supplies to move faster from coal and gas to healthier, more affordable, renewable energy sources wind and solar .

More than 4,500 people submitted public comments to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) as commissioners reviewed Consumer Energy’s plans. The huge wave of public reactions convinced the utility to negotiate a historic settlement in line with what Michiganders called for.

Groups Across the State – MI Future, MI Power; Natural Resources Defense Council; Sierra Club Michigan Chapter; Union of Concerned Scientists; Stem Solar; and the West Michigan Environmental Action Council – organized together thousands of members of the public to submit comments to the MPSC. The group also provided copies of comments directly to Consumers Energy.

Several organizations issued the following statements in response to the Commission’s decision.

“The fact that we had thousands of comments to deliver at the Consumers Energy office made me very hopeful that we would push supply to come up with a better renewable energy plan,” he said. Sergio Cira-Reyes of the Grand Rapids Urban Core Collective. “We know that pollution from fossil fuels and extreme weather from the climate crisis are hitting black, brown and low-income communities disproportionately, and we are pleased to see our communities speak out to protect themselves.”

“A victory like this inspires us as proponents,” he said Nayyirah Shariff from Flint Rising, “We stopped Consumers Energy from acquiring the methane gas plant in Dearborn, and we will continue to work to shut down the company’s Flint incineration plant, which pollutes our air and endangers our health. We are committed to continuing the fight for climate justice in our state. “

“The settlement agreement with Consumers Energy is a significant step forward in Michigan’s fight against the climate crisis. It ensures that the utility company retires its last coal plant, JH Campbell Plant, by 2025, while abandoning efforts to acquire gas plants owned by its parent company, CMS Energy, “he said. Derrell Slaughter, Michigan Clean Energy Advocate at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “Consumers Energy will add significant amounts of clean energy resources like 8,000 megawatts of solar by 2040 and battery storage to its generational mix. These significant victories, fought for by society, are a step in the right direction to get Michigan on track to meet its goals. for CO2 reduction and improving air quality. “

“Today, advocates for energy justice and equality. Consumers Energy’s settlement agreement will not only lift the environmental burden of environmental injustice from communities around the coal power plant, but will allow many more to choose renewable energy sources, such as solar and battery storage, for their homes, businesses and schools. “We look forward to a clean, secure, and just future for all Michigan residents.” said Jenna Warmuth, Midwest Regional Director at Vote Solar.

“Today’s approval is a major step toward the clean energy that Michigan needs, one that is phasing out coal power this decade, avoiding dependence on new fossil gas plants and investing significantly in clean resources such as solar energy,” he said. James Gignac, Senior Midwest Energy Analyst at Union of Concerned Scientists. “Recent research from the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition and the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that the state can achieve a 100% sustainable electricity standard by 2035 with huge health and economic benefits. Consumers Energy and the Commission listened to the thousands of public comments submitted in the case showing “How people and communities can drive change towards more inclusive and healthier electricity plans with benefits for all.”

Dr. Julie Quinn from Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action said, “Our organization is a coalition of healthcare professionals who are witnessing on their own the profound effects that pollution and climate change have on our patients. Our members urged the Michigan Public Service Commission to consider public health, climate change and racial justice as they considered Consumers Energy’s 15-year plan. We strongly advocated changes that would reduce greenhouse gases and increase investment in renewable energy. We welcome the approval of this settlement agreement, which will ensure that consumers become carbon-free by 2025, methane gas plants and invest in additional clean energy sources for our state. “

“Michigan Interfaith Power & Light inspires believers to act as stewards of the earth,” he saidLeah Wiste, CEO of Michigan Interfaith Power & Light. “That’s why our members joined dozens of organizations and thousands of people across the state who called for a more responsible, equitable energy plan from Consumers Energy. We celebrate this historic agreement that highlights the power of the community and proves that real change can happen when we stand in solidarity for climate justice. “

Originally published on NRDC.


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