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Natural gas set to play major role in Michigan's energy mix

Liesl Clark said Michigan is taking more older, coal-fired power plants offline because they are uneconomical to run.
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
The James De Young coal is operated by the City of Holland's Board of Public Works.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Experts say that with at least nine coal plants in Michigan slated to shut down in the next 10 months, natural gas is the likely replacement as the primary source for generating energy.

But they are not predicting a large increase in natural gas production in the state. Instead, they say there likely will be more pipelines and other infrastructure built to import more natural gas from nearby Ohio and Pennsylvania. Recent discoveries of the resource in those states created booms in the industry.
Natural gas is expected to represent up to 26 percent of Michigan's electricity mix by 2025, up from 14 percent now.
Environmental advocates say importing more natural gas means pipeline safety must be ensured in Michigan and other states producing the fuel.

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