Lansing, Mich. -- Michigan House Energy Policy Committee Vice-Chairman Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, Monday welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court's decision halting the Environmental Protection Agency's 2011 rules regarding mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants until the federal regulatory agency takes into account the billions of dollars that electricity ratepayers face in costs for retrofitting plants in order to comply. The court ruled 5-4 Monday in the case of Michigan v. EPA.
"With the highest electricity rates in the Midwest, Michigan should not be stampeded by the fear of a false narrative into denying our state's citizens, schools, and employers the choice of buying their electricity from less expensive competitors to our two state-regulated utilities, or stampeded into cutting off that competition," Rep. Glenn said. "This decision proves that the closure of existing power plants is not as certain as some have claimed, and closures may at minimum be delayed for years. Our rewrite of Michigan's energy policy for decades to come should be based on facts, not manufactured fears."
Glenn, who this month was appointed by House Speaker Kevin Cotter to represent Michigan on the energy policy-making committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said he plans to lead introduction of a package of legislation in September -- concurrent with public school and college classes resuming -- that would start by saving taxpayers money by allowing all K-12 schools, colleges and universities, state and local government buildings, and hospitals to buy their electricity from whichever provider they choose.
Under current state law passed in 2008, an arbitrary cap allows only ten percent of customers the choice of buying electricity from an alternative provider, while 90 percent are forced to buy electricity from one of the two major state-regulated utilities, Consumers Energy or Detroit Edison.