Letter: Clean Power Plan will save families money

Re: Our April 22 editorial “State should prep for costly Power Plan”: If we’re smart, the Clean Power Plan will save families and businesses money by reining in rising electricity costs and allow Michigan to control its energy future.

The editorial relies on an Anderson Economic Group study which makes many faulty assumptions and uses inaccurate data. There are three major flaws with the Anderson study.

First, the Anderson study uses generalized national data on energy costs instead of using actual data from Michigan utilities. These generalizations fail to take into account what’s actually going on in Michigan. For instance, renewable energy is now cheaper than coal, and even natural gas. And Michigan ratepayers save $4.38 for every dollar invested in energy efficiency.

Next, the Anderson study fails to take into account that nine coal-fired power plants were closed in recent weeks due to age, cost, and inefficiency. This is a huge step forward in reducing carbon pollution in Michigan and the Anderson study should take into account that Michigan’s energy landscape is rapidly changing—with or without the Clean Power Plan.

Finally, the Anderson study assumes that Michigan will use a cookie-cutter federal plan for reducing carbon pollution instead of writing our own plan. But Michigan has already taken steps to seize control over its energy future and develop a strategy that’s right for Michigan.

In a report issued last July—using Michigan-specific data—the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI) found that embracing energy efficiency and low-cost renewable energy is the best way forward and will keep rates low as we reduce carbon pollution and comply with the Clean Power Plan.

Michigan’s energy efficiency and renewable energy standards, signed into law in 2008, mean Michigan is well-positioned for compliance with the Clean Power Plan. As innovators and leaders, we can continue the progress that has already been made toward Michigan’s clean energy future—with less pollution in our air and a little more change in our pockets.

Liesl Clark, president

Institute for Energy Innovation