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New EPA Emissions Proposal a Watershed Moment

Citing needs to curb greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change, the protection of public health, and promoting a cleaner environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its “Clean Power Plan” proposal last week. Read more from the EPA.

The proposal, which is open for public comment for 120 days and won’t be finalized until next year:

Right Principles, Risky Approach

The principles behind the EPA’s proposal are largely consistent with AMP’s positions on innovation and sustainability. However, its exceptionally aggressive goals raise serious questions about how to develop and implement an effective plan that will protect consumers and our economy while maintaining reliability and affordability. The EPA’s proposal does provide many options, which will be helpful in finding solutions, but AMP is concerned that it will upset the balance we have worked so hard to achieve in Michigan.

Here in Michigan, we’ve had great success integrating renewable energy while maintaining access, reliability, and fairness thanks in part to embracing a balanced plan that is implemented gradually.  Michigan’s energy providers have already begun retiring older coal plants and replacing their capacity with renewable energy resources like wind and cleaner-burning, natural gas-fired plants.

Investment, Innovation Needed

Achieving the EPA’s goals will take billions of dollars of investment and could require an uncompromising approach to diversifying Michigan’s energy portfolio.

Fortunately, Michigan’s energy providers are already leading the way in terms of investing in sustainability, and we are hopeful that the cost efficiency gained by new technologies will save consumers from excessive cost burdens. For example:

Nevertheless, Michigan consumers and businesses should expect significant price increases in order to advance this positive but very costly agenda.  Accordingly, AMP will continue to advocate for a reasonable approach to help minimize any harmful economic impacts.