August 7, 2012

DTE Admits Substantial Liability from Coal

DTE releases report tallying true cost of coal’s impact on public health, environment

DETROIT – DTE Energy filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission recently exposing and acknowledging the increasing costs for shareholders and ratepayers and the looming environmental impact associated with coal. For decades, the costs of coal-operated plants in Michigan have negatively impacted air quality and public health. DTE's plants continue to rely on coal, and create a looming risk for Michigan families and ratepayers as DTE estimates spending as much as $2 billion by 2021 to reduce air pollution from old coal plants and potentially another $55 million to reduce impacts on our Great Lakes and waterways. Citizens groups are calling on DTE to embrace renewable energy in order to curb costs and reduce a negative public health and environmental impact.  

“The days of shrugging off the negative impacts of coal are over,” said Tiffany Hartung with Sierra Club. “DTE Energy admitted that the costs of coal will only continue to rise. We can no longer stick our heads in the sand and pretend this ongoing issue isn’t impacting our community’s health. Protecting Michigan families means transitioning away from aging coal plants towards clean, renewable energy sources, because you can’t put a price tag on a healthy future.”

In July 2009, DTE Energy received a Notice of Violation/Finding of Violation (NOV/FOV) from the EPA alleging that five Detroit Edison power plants violated New Source Performance standards, Prevention of Significant Deterioration requirements, and operating permit requirements under the Clean Air Act. An additional NOV/FOV was received in June 2010 related to a recent project and outage at Unit 2 of the Monroe Power Plant.

It's time for DTE to stop ignoring common-sense protections that are intended to keep the public safe from harmful coal pollution," said Susan Harley, Policy Director of Clean Water Action. "We're calling on DTE to embrace clean, renewable energy to save ratepayers money, and to protect the health and well-being of middle class Michigan families.

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About Clean Energy Now: CEN is a coalition of groups that supports policies that will move Michigan beyond coal power toward greater use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency as a way to protect the environment and build prosperity.
Follow the campaign at www.cleanenergynowmi.org.