Consumers Energy | Charting a Future for Clean Energy

By Brandon Hofmeister, Detroit News
Apr 4, 2017 8:00 AM ET

President Trump made headlines this week by following through on his campaign promise to start rolling back the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and related rules. The intent is clear: to reduce federal environmental regulations that are hastening the demise of coal-burning power plants across the U.S. The impact is cloudier: the rule’s review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and any potential legal challenges could take years to play out.

The uncertainty around these and other federal environmental rules reminds us of an important point those of us here in Michigan have been saying. Our state shouldn’t depend on Washington, D.C., to determine our energy future. Michigan needs its own game plan to ensure that homes and businesses have they energy they need, without worrying that changing regulations at the federal level will leave our state scrambling.

Michigan is not taking a wait-and-see approach. Our state’s energy policy doesn’t hinge on decisions from Washington, D.C. We are proceeding with plans to deliver energy reliably, safely, affordably and more cleanly than ever, and we won’t have to change course, regardless of the ultimate fate of the Clean Power Plan.

Last year, Consumers Energy closed seven of our coal-fired plants that were over 50 years old. While they delivered reliable and affordable energy to our customers for many years, they had reached the end of their useful lives and it was not economical to invest in upgrades needed to comply with the latest environmental regulations. Coal plants will continue to close across our state over the next decade, being replaced with cleaner fuels and meaningful efforts to help customers through energy efficiency programs.

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