The problem that supporters of the proposed 600-megawatt plant never recognized was this: Planet Earth is not a perfect place to build a coal plant. Coal is too dirty; it has become too expensive to mine, ship, and burn; and it is the number-one source of climate-changing carbon emissions. If the world hopes to escape the worst effects of airborne toxins and global warming, it must stop burning the stuff-the quicker the better. So Wolverine’s cancellation of its so-called “Clean Energy Venture” puts the firm in step with the rest of the country and the world.
In a quick and quiet decision, Michigan environmental regulators have given Wolverine Power Cooperative another year to break ground on its long-delayed, highly controversial Rogers City coal plant. But stricter coal plant emission limits, soaring coal-power costs, cheap natural gas, and falling demand for electricity could still doom the 600-megawatt project.
In an historic vote, the Holland City Council has pre-empted longstanding plans to build a highly controversial coal plant in the city and, instead, approved a natural gas-fired power plant that will likely provide more power than the town actually needs.
Reading the text of Governor Rick Snyder’s Special Message on Energy and the Environment, which is a bit more detailed than the remarks he delivered last Wednesday, it’s clear he’s serious about energy efficiency and, to some extent, renewables like wind and solar power. But he was also less detailed than some hoped.
On Nov. 6, voters will determine whether Michigan takes full advantage of a rare, golden opportunity to secure new investment, build new infrastructure, create jobs and enhance health and the environment for its citizens.
The Holland Board of Public Works released its long-anticipated report comparing the economic, environmental, and social effects of a new coal-fired plant with those of a new natural gas-fired plant, and the news is not good for coal. Now the utility wants to hear what residents think, and some clean-energy advocates aren’t happy with how the process is being handled.