The deregulation debate is in full swing in Michigan. You can learn more here. Among the potential risks of deregulation are its potential to slow innovation, undermine reliability, and jeopardize Michigan’s energy future by diminishing Michigan’s ability to produce its own power or invest in new energy technologies within our own borders. This link between deregulation, investment, and energy efficiency also highlights one of the other key risks involved: setbacks in our economic recovery.
Innovation and sustainability is one of the Alliance for Michigan Power’s core areas of focus. By itself, a sustainable approach to energy is an important goal for our state, but it also holds significant implications for our other primary energy goals as well, including job creation and economic growth. The right policies for renewable energy and increased energy efficiency will actually lead to a stronger economy and more Michigan jobs, while the wrong policies could set us back and make it harder, in the long run, to achieve our sustainability goals.
A fact sheet published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) explains the relationship between these two priorities quite well:
Investing in local energy benefits all Michiganders by contributing to this positive ripple effect in which both economic strength and energy efficiency increase. A strong Michigan energy industry ultimately helps create a more energy-efficient Michigan, and Michigan’s energy policies should reflect that.
One reason we believe in a balanced approach toward Michigan’s energy policy is because extreme policies—like electric industry deregulation—are singularly focused. Instead, we need policies that consider all of our energy priorities equally and recognize the relationships among them.