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Path to a Cleaner Energy Mix: Natural Gas and the NEXUS Pipeline

AMP supports Michigan’s efforts to transition to a cleaner energy supply, and we also know how important it is to keep energy reliable and affordable for all Michiganders.

The key is maintaining a diverse mix of clean and renewable energy sources, and natural gas is an important part of that mix. Natural gas will play a key role in ensuring that Michigan has the power it needs as coal plants are shuttered across the state. Renewables like wind and solar are intermittent, meaning we can’t count on them to produce power when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. These intermittent sources need to be matched up with baseload generation — like natural gas — that is always ready whenever needed.

Michigan’s geography is uniquely suited to support natural gas-based energy production. The NEXUS pipeline project will allow us to move 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day into Michigan from Pennsylvania and Ohio.

People understandably have questions and concerns about the pipeline: the route, the impact on the surrounding countryside, the odor (or lack of one), even bats (and other wildlife). Over the next several weeks, AMP will be looking at these concerns in more detail to help ensure our members can separate fact from fiction.

What we can sometimes forget are all of the positives the NEXUS pipeline will bring to Michigan. So in the meantime, here are just a few positive NEXUS facts you should know:

  • Expanding natural gas in our state will save Michigan families and businesses thousands of dollars per year as they transition to more reliable, less expensive, cleaner energy.
  • NEXUS will be creating more than 1,500 jobs in Michigan, generating approximately $97 million in wages that will be reinvested into the state’s economy as workers buy food, clothes, cars, and homes (and pay taxes).
  • Over the first five years of the project’s life, NEXUS will generate $22 million in local tax revenues, with $9.8 million going to school districts. Think of all the extra resources for our teachers, our police force, our seniors and our veterans that can come from that revenue.
  • NEXUS was deemed safe for the environment by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in November 2016.

Concerns about any energy source are to be expected, but Michigan’s energy reality is this: Coal plants are closing, and we’ll need new baseload power generation to make up for the looming power shortfall. Natural gas will be critical to a reliable, affordable, clean energy future – and we need the NEXUS pipeline to bring natural gas to Michigan.

What are your thoughts about natural gas in Michigan? Let us know!