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Utility officials scheduled to appear at legislative committee hearing on recent power outages

Michigan state capitol building, Lansing, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Michigan state capitol building, Lansing, Michigan (file photo)

Officials with DTE and Consumers Energy will be back in the hot seat in Lansing this week.

The Senate Energy and Environment Committee has scheduled a hearing Thursday morning on “Recent Storm-Related Power Outages in Michigan.”

Senators are expected to grill utility officials about outages that left hundreds of thousands of Michiganders without electricity for days. A House committee held a similar hearing last week.

Abby Clark is with the Natural Resources Defense Council. She wants state lawmakers to do more than hold committee hearings.

“There are things that both the Michigan Public Service Commission and the Legislature can do...and it goes beyond asking questions,” said Clark.

Utility critics want to see increased compensation for Michiganders who lose power, expand the power of the public service commission and implement performance-based rate making. They also hope people affected by the outages have a chance to speak as well at this week’s Senate committee hearing, as they did during last week’s state House committee hearing.

Utility officials say they are working on ways to reduce future service interruptions.

DTE and Consumers Energy are among Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.