PAC ad knocks Schuette for opposing clean energy plan

Jim Lynch
The Detroit News

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will be targeted in a new ad campaign for his opposition to the Obama administration’s efforts to move the nation toward clean energy.

Independence USA, the Michael Bloomberg-backed super political action committee, is set to launch television ads in the coming weeks that criticize Schuette for joining a lawsuit that challenges the Clean Power Plan, which calls for reductions in greenhouse gases.

Independence USA, the Michael Bloomberg-backed super political action committee, is set to launch television ads in the coming weeks that criticize Schuette for joining a lawsuit that challenges the Clean Power Plan, which calls for reductions in greenhouse gases. The ad campaign also will focus on the top law enforcement officials in Florida., Missouri and Wisconsin — three other states among the roughly two dozen that have sued over the proposal.

“We are announcing an eight-figure advertising buy that defends the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and holds accountable the attorneys general ... for putting the interests of the coal industry ahead of the health and well-being of their constituents,” said Howard Wolfson, and adviser at Independence USA. The group’s Michigan ad can be seen on YouTube.

The Clean Power Plan requires states to get at least 28 percent of their electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar. It seeks a 32 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

States have challenged the plan in the U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing it would drive up electricity rates paid by consumers. Last month, Schuette added Michigan to the list of states contesting the regulations, while they were embraced by Gov. Rick Snyder.

In an August statement, Schuette hinted at his intention to challenge the Clean Power Plan.

“I am deeply concerned by yet another executive action taken by President Obama and the EPA that violates the Clean Air Act and causes the price of electricity to increase, placing jobs at risk and costing Michigan families more,” he said.

Last month, West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey argued that the rule is illegal in part because it seeks to regulate coal-fired power plants under one segment of the Clean Air Act, although it already regulates those plants under another section of the statute.

The stance has riled Michigan environmental groups. Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, said the state is particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of coal plants.

“From a health perspective in particular, Michigan is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to diseases linked to air quality,” she said Friday. Michigan has the sixth-highest percentage of residents suffering from cardiovascular disease, as well as the 10th-highest rate of deaths linked to those diseases, Wozniak said.

“Attorney General Bill Schuette is not acting in the interest of the citizens and the community he was elected to represent,” she said.

JLynch@detroitnews.com

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