This week Governor Rick Snyder held a roundtable discussion in Detroit dealing with Michigan’s energy future and the policies that will help shape it. The Governor’s discussion of his four main priorities evidenced the thoughtful approach he has taken.
AMP shares the Governor’s core priorities: adaptability, reliability, affordability, and environmental protection. The challenge before all of us now is identifying policy solutions that will achieve these objectives in economically sound ways.
You can read more about the Governor’s roundtable here.
Cautious with Deregulation
One of the most contentious issues of late has been deregulation. State Representative Mike Shirkey recently introduced legislation that would move the state to full deregulation. We’ve discussed this issue extensively on our blog; we believe full deregulation holds many risks that could jeopardize our economic recovery and the reliability of our energy supply, as well as result in significant price swings and lack of fairness for many Michigan consumers.
The Governor briefly expressed similar concerns: “[Deregulation] creates a lot of challenges and problems, so I wouldn’t jump to saying increasing choice is the answer,” he explained. “I thought it appropriate to step back from the choice question and say what are appropriate ways to look at addressing this issue about industrial competitiveness in terms of job creation…I don’t jump to choice as a solution for that.”
He also mentioned the threat to reliability if too many Michiganders end up “bouncing back and forth” from one provider to another.
The Governor’s concerns regarding deregulation are well founded; we should certainly take to heart the lessons learned from other states.
Focus on What’s Working
The steps Michigan is already taking are working. Michigan’s energy providers have had great success meeting the reasonable benchmarks in place for integrating renewable energy. The gradual process of integrating resources like wind and solar energy is enabling us to develop more sustainable solutions without putting jobs, the economy, reliability, or the affordability of energy at risk.