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Mixed reactions in Michigan to Obama energy plan

A coal-fired power plant
Holland BPW
James De Young coal plant near Lake Macatawa in Holland.

President Obama’s plan to reduce carbon emissions will have a profound effect on Michigan’s energy policy overhaul, but no one agrees yet on how.

Governor Rick Snyder’s administration says it’s withholding judgment. Valerie Brader is the director of the Michigan Agency for Energy and the governor’s top advisor on energy policy.

“This is a rule that is thousands of pages long and it’s going to require a substantial investment of time for us to review and digest it.”


She says the administration expects to have its response ready some time after Labor Day.

The proposal will have an effect as the Legislature re-writes Michigan’s energy rules, including new standards dealing with efficiency, renewable fuels, and competition.

Republican state Attorney General Bill Schuette says he might join a lawsuit to challenge the rules.


Andrea Bitely is the attorney general’s press secretary. She says the rules might infringe on states’ rights to set energy policy:  

“The attorney general is deeply concerned by yet another executive action taken by President Obama and the EPA that violates the Clean Air Act and causing the price of electricity to increase, placing jobs at risk and costing Michigan families even more.”

Utilities say the plan could accelerate the shut-down of coal plants in Michigan. Nine coal plants in the state are scheduled to retire next year. Environmental groups say Michigan’s efficiency and renewable energy rules put the state in a good place to meet the standards. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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