Column: Power plant will strengthen Michigan’s economy
At the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, we’re always encouraged to see companies invest in Michigan. As a statewide business advocacy organization, the Michigan chamber has long supported efforts that promote job creation and business success. For that reason, we applaud the recent approval of DTE’s new natural gas-fueled plant by the Michigan Public Service Commission.
The new power plant represents a $1 billion investment in Michigan and helps move our state forward in a variety of ways. Businesses depend on a reliable energy supply to operate. Coal-fired power plants have been shutting down in Michigan in recent years. To replace that lost power supply, Michigan needs the reliable energy generation that natural gas plants provide.
The Michigan chamber represents over 6,000 member businesses who depend on a consistent power supply to operate. The natural gas-fueled plant provides the 24/7 power to the energy grid that is far cleaner and more efficient than a coal-fired plant.
In addition to the infrastructure investment, the new natural gas-fueled plant in St. Clair County represents DTE’s continued commitment to Michigan. It not only helps fortify Michigan’s energy supply into the future, it also ensures Michigan workers are generating that power. The plant will create construction and operations jobs that will be filled by Michiganians. And because natural gas is more efficient — and therefore more affordable — than other alternatives, the plant also ensures Michigan companies can expand and grow their operations in Michigan.
In 2016, the Michigan chamber successfully championed legislation to reform the state’s energy policy to help protect our power supply. DTE’s investment in the new plant will further help to secure Michigan’s energy future by ensuring access to safe, affordable and reliable energy. Our state’s energy grid should never be a limiting factor when it comes to economic growth.
When Michigan-based companies make major investments in our state, our economy, the job market and the overall business community is strengthened. A safe, affordable and reliable energy supply helps all of Michigan thrive. We commend the decision by the MPSC and the commitment shown by DTE to invest in Michigan’s economic future.
Rich Studley is president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. The Michigan chamber represents over 6,000 employers who employ over one million Michigan residents. The chamber represents businesses of every size and type in all 83 counties of the state.