Update: Comprehensive energy reform unveiled with ReEnergize Michigan

In 2008, the state of Michigan passed its first renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which requires the major utility providers (Consumers and DTE) to produce 10% of their total energy with renewable sources every year by the end of 2015.  The legislation also included some important measures to increase energy efficiency in our state, and created a more holistic process for major utility providers to define energy demand and future planning. This process, called Integrated Resource Planning (IRP), is designed to ensure that energy demand in Michigan is clearly defined so that we are not building power plants that we don’t need. It also requires that the utilities demonstrate that their proposals are the most cost-effective, efficient, sensible approaches to providing energy to citizens (e.g., a new coal plant versus a wind farm). 

The progress in 2008 represents a welcome first step, but falls short when it comes to making Michigan a leader in this area. The 2009-2010 ReEnergize Michigan! campaign takes the progress already made and builds upon it to put Michigan at the forefront of the clean energy economy. 
One part of the platform, a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS), was recently introduced by Representative Lee Gonzales (> read more of the story here).  A LCFS would help to move Michigan forward and away from the dirty, inefficient fuels of the past century. This policy complements the efforts of automakers to develop the new generation of hybrid vehicles and will create an environment in Michigan that will help our ailing automakers bounce back. For a more in-depth study of Michigan’s quest to utilize the fuels of the future, please review the Ecology Center report: Moving Michigan Beyond Oil.  > moving-beyond-oil.pdf