ACCCE Press Statement: Gov. Granholm’s State of the State Address

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — “The decision by Governor Granholm to delay the process of reviewing air permits for the construction of state-of-the-art clean coal technology power plants in Michigan is regrettable,” said Joe Lucas, senior vice president of communications for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). “These projects, assuming that they are approved by the proper permitting agency, could bring economic relief and create jobs for Michigan workers, at a time when the state battles the worst unemployment rate in the nation,” he said.

“While we agree with the Governor’s support for increased energy efficiency, the Governor’s proposal ignores the urgent need to develop new power generation assets to meet the needs of Michigan energy consumers,” Lucas said. “As American automakers shift to manufacturing plug-in hybrid vehicles to keep pace with President Obama’s challenge to put a million of these vehicles on the road, Michigan will require a robust supply of baseload electricity. Renewable resources such as wind and solar alone will not be sufficient to meet that growing need,” he added.

Lucas said ACCCE supports the Governor’s goal of reducing the carbon footprint associated with power generation in the state, but believes that goal can be best met through deploying new technologies that capture and store CO2, not through mandates that would lessen Michigan’s reliance on domestic energy resources like coal.

“Currently, coal provides over 60 percent of the electricity Michigan families and businesses depend upon each day,” Lucas said. “Most Michigan residents recognize that technology has already made coal a cleaner energy option,” he added. “New coal-based power plants, like the ones the Governor’s order will delay, are more efficient and significantly lower in emissions than existing plants, and the developers of these plants are certainly ensuring that plants approved and built in the near-term could be retro-fitted with advanced technologies to capture and store CO2,” Lucas said. “In fact, given the time necessary to permit and construct a new power plant today, it is entirely feasible to assume that these new carbon capture and storage technologies would become available for deployment at or very near the time these new plants are put into operation.”

“Going forward, it is clear that Michigan’s energy and economic needs will be best met by maintaining a diverse portfolio of energy resources,” Lucas said. “Even with the expanded use of renewable energy, coal will still need to play a significant role in meeting the state’s energy needs,” he said. “Up until now, electricity from coal has been a part of Michigan’s environmental success story,” Lucas said. “There is no reason to assume that it can’t and will not continue to fuel the state’s future, even as the state turns its attention to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“We look forward to working with the Governor, her administration, and the legislature to ensure continued progress on promoting economic growth and sustained environmental progress for all Michigan citizens.”

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