May 19, 2016

Leading Michigan environmental groups blast Nofs energy plan

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Contact: Nick Dodge, (517) 333-1606

Leading Michigan environmental groups blast Nofs energy plan

Environmental, conservation groups agree: Nofs energy plan a dangerous step backwards for Michigan

LANSING – Environmental groups across Michigan today sent a strong public message slamming the energy bills introduced by State Senator Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek). As Senator Nofs attempts to gather enough votes to move the bills out of committee, environmental groups warn that removing or weakening energy efficiency and renewable energy standards will increase dangerous pollution and increase costs.

"The good news for Michigan is that our efforts over the last seven years have resulted in record low prices for renewable energy. The bad news is that utilities are not taking advantage of those opportunities to protect our public health and the pocketbooks of Michigan families,” said James Clift, Policy Director of the Michigan Environmental Council. “The Nofs energy plan fails to utilize inexpensive renewable energy that would cut costs and reduce dangerous pollution.”

“The Nofs plan is irresponsible and would destroy Michigan’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards that curb dangerous pollution and protect our land, air and water,” said Clay Carpenter, Campaign Organizer for Clean Water Action. “It’s time for Michigan residents to take control of our energy future and hold big polluters accountable for spewing dangerous pollution into our air, lakes, rivers and streams.”

“We need an energy plan that reduces pollution, reduces waste and cuts costs for ratepayers,” said Mike Berkowitz, Legislative Director of theSierra Club Michigan Chapter. The Nofs energy plan gets rid of Michigan’s energy efficiency standard, which holds utilities accountable for costs, reins in energy waste, and protects us from air pollution.”

“Energy efficiency and renewable energy maintain affordability, lower ratepayer risk and reduce pollution, yet Michigan continues to over-rely on burning coal imported from other states,” said Sam Gomberg, Lead Midwest Energy Analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The Nofs energy plan undermines the progress Michigan has made in terms of expanding renewable energy and energy efficiency that provide significant benefits to ratepayers and create clean energy jobs right here in Michigan.”

“It would be a shame to see energy efficiency programming slashed in West Michigan with the passage of the Nofs energy bills,” said Nick Occhipinti, Policy Director of WMEAC. “We need an energy policy that is clean and fair and holds big utility companies accountable while moving Michigan toward a sustainable energy future.”

"This bill represents wrong-headed thinking that does almost nothing to support the expansion of jobs in the clean energy sector, and it perpetuates old strategies that will continue to trigger poor health for thousands of Michiganders,” said Guy O. Williams, President and CEO of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice. “The Nofs energy plan allows utilities to keep polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink, threatening Michigan’s most vulnerable populations.”

“The Nofs energy plan would increase dangerous pollution and threaten the health and well-being of Michigan residents,” said Alexis Blizman,Legislative and Policy Director of the Ecology Center. “With asthma rates well above the national average, Michigan’s energy policy should reduce dangerous pollution through strong standards that protect public health.” 

“Michigan needs strong energy legislation that encourages innovation, competition and choice. The Nofs energy plan hinders innovation by requiring Michiganders to pay for the energy they generate themselves,” said Margrethe Kearney, Staff Attorney at the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Rather than taking a step backward, we should be working to create policy that allows consumers to make the best choices for their individual energy use and for Michigan’s energy future.”