|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Thursday, May 27, 2010|
Anne Woiwode, Sierra Club
517-484-2372 or 517-974-2112 (cell)
Terry Miller,Lone Tree Council
Shannon Fisk, NRDC
Susan Harley, Clean Water Action
LANSING, MI –Consumers Energy’s stunning decision announced this morning to halt plans to build a massive, costly new coal plant near Bay City means hard-pressed electric consumers will be spared huge rate hikes and that Michigan must now seize this opportunity to become a national leader in clean energy jobs.
The decision was hailed as a victory by local residents who have been fighting Consumers’ proposed coal plant for years.
“We are, of course, tremendously pleased, relieved and gratified by this decision and are now confident this plant will never be built,” said Terry Miller of the Lone Tree Council. “The amount of political and financial resources spent over the years on this controversial project, the stress it brought to our community, is extremely unfortunate. It’s time now for all of us to come together and make sure we make the right choices in the future for energy, jobs and moving our community moving forward. We owe that to ourselves and future generations.”
“Investors are rejecting coal plants all across the country as a bad investment and now Michigan must follow the markets and make a much stronger commitment to energy efficiency, wind, solar and other forms of clean energy that have already created more than 100,000 jobs for Michigan workers,” said Anne Woiwode, State Director of Sierra Club of Michigan.
“This is a great victory and clears the way for Consumers and Michigan to make more investments in energy efficiency, wind and solar power. Consumers’ decision is to the benefit of ratepayers, shareholders and Michigan residents,” said Shannon Fisk, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Consumers Energy announced this morning that the proposed 830 megawatt coal plant is being put on hold because of concerns that financing construction of the plant would be too costly to ratepayers. Estimates were that electric bills would have increased by as much as 30 percent to pay for the plant. Electric rate cost increases of at least 110% were also a factor in a decision last week by Governor Granholm’s administration to deny a permit to build a coal plant near Rogers City.
“There’s a reason more than 100 coal plant projects have been cancelled across the country in recent years. Coal is dirty, costly and not the future for energy or jobs,” said Susan Harley, Policy Director for Clean Water Action. “There’s so much more we can be doing to provide clean energy and jobs for Michigan. Consumers’ decision today makes one thing crystal clear: Michigan’s future is with clean energy and not coal.”