August 20, 2010

Citizens Win after Controversial Coal Plant in Holland is Denied

Friday, Aug. 20, 2010

Changing energy economy means Michigan must grow clean energy sector

“The citizens of Holland and across West Michigan repeatedly made our voice clear: We don’t want a coal plant that puts people and our future at risk, and today, that voice was heard,” said Holland resident Jill Henke . “Today’s victory is the result of sustained public pressure, and a reminder to Big Coal and utilities everywhere that the writing is on the wall. Michigan wants to move toward a clean energy future that can jumpstart our economy, protect our Great Lakes , and create local jobs that cannot be outsourced.”

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality today denied a permit to Holland Board of Public Works for an expansion to its coal plant. The MDEQ cited a Public Service Commission report that said, among other things, the BPW hadn’t shown it really needed the 78 megawatt expansion. The MPSC report also said HBPW hadn’t fully explored all its energy generation options, including renewable and clean energy alternatives.

“Citizens across Michigan applaud the MDEQ for making this common sense decision, and also the people of West Michigan who stood up for a strong clean energy future,” said Jan O’Connell the Sierra Club. “More energy efficiency and renewable energy will save money for consumers in the long run and bring in new investments that are creating local jobs. Holland is already leading the way in clean energy, such as advanced auto battery technology. This is an opportunity to send an even stronger message that Holland is the community of the future, built on clean energy and not coal.”