This past Wednesday, Dana Nessel, the Democratic Michigan Attorney General, officially penned their name to a proposed settlement with an energy company that sought to end coal use by 2025, as reported in a press release issued by the government.
This choice has been finalized a full 15 years ahead of schedule based upon original plans. This agreement with Consumers Energy Company, which stated that it delivers natural gas and electricity services to well over r6.6 million of the total 10 million residents of Michigan, is headed to the Michigan Public Service Commission for final approval before it goes into effect.
“Not only is this settlement a win for our environment, it’s also a win for Michigan ratepayers who have struggled to stay current on their bills,” stated Nessel in a release. “This agreement was truly a collaborative effort from all involved parties and a symbol of what we can achieve when stakeholders work together to create positive change.”
This past June, Consumers Energy put forth a resource plan that held the idea of shuttering all of the coal plants across the state. The idea is to take steps toward more solar energy usage by 2040, making almost 8,000 megawatts, in order to have more “clean energy” resources make up a total of 90% of electricity. As of 2020, coal created about the third most electricity in the state, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Republican State Rep. Joe Bellino claimed that he is “worried about the state having enough energy.”
“I hope the attorney general’s got the numbers down to keep the power running,” he claimed in a recent interview. “That’s all I hope. … We’re in a peninsula. We can’t get energy from the east, west, or the north.”
Nessel’s office has not accepted any requests as of yet to speak about the proposed settlement turning requests to look at the comments made by the attorney general in the press release.
This recently proposed settlement also has provisions for Consumers Energy to donate $5 million this year to a fund for low-income utility ratepayers, “with the potential for $33 million in total assistance in additional $2 million increments over a 14-year period.” This number was reached by The Citizens Utility Board of Michigan. a group that wanted to make utility costs cheaper for state residents.
This move from Nessel comes as consumers attempt to handle the highest rate of inflation across the state since back in November of 1981, as reported by data retrieved from the University of Michigan. Inflation levels hit 5.4% in April, an increase from the 4.9% level back in January and 4.7% in July 2021.
Democrats have continually made attempts to target the fossil fuel sector, with U.S. Special Presidential Evoy for Climate John Kerry putting forth a warning to the domestic natural gas industry this past Thursday.
Previously the secretary of state under former President Barack Obama, Kerry stated that natural gas producers should be forced to prove they are making use of carbon capture technology to reduce emissions, and if they do not they will be forced to drop their actions.
“We have to put the industry on notice: You’ve got six years, eight years, no more than 10 years or so, within which you’ve got to come up with a means by which you’re going to capture, and if you’re not capturing, then we have to deploy alternative sources of energy,” he stated.