A recent editorial from the Grand Rapids Business Journal about the state legislature’s work to update Michigan’s energy law (“State energy ‘choice’ legislation designed to deceive,” Nov. 7, Grand Rapids Business Journal) did not address some important issues.
In contrast to the editorial’s claims, current legislation supported by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce will preserve our state’s current system that allows some customers to buy energy from alternative energy suppliers. Importantly, it also lays out a blueprint for Michigan’s energy future, encouraging our state to address the reality 35 coal-fired plants are projected to be going offline by 2025.
This good legislation can set the stage for new natural gas, wind and solar generation right here in our state. Taking action protects our state’s freedom from orders that no doubt will come from Washington, D.C., regulators if we do nothing.
The proposed legislation offers a fair and reasonable principle: All energy suppliers can prove they will meet their customers’ needs. That hasn’t been an issue since 2008, with surplus electricity on the market, but it will be soon, as forecast by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator. If energy suppliers do not adequately meet their commitments to customers, that could create an issue for reliability that would affect all businesses across Michigan.
There’s a reason why the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Association of Michigan and many others are supporting a new energy law — it preserves choice and will help ensure our growing state has the affordable, reliable and cleaner energy it needs.
Senior Vice President of Energy Resources