Every year 24,000 people die prematurely because of pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Every year 38,000 heart attacks occur because of pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Every year 12,000 hospital admissions and 550,000 people suffering asthma attacks result from power plant pollution.
Every year, coal-fired power plants release 48 tons of mercury nationwide.
Power plants release over 40% of total U.S. C02 emissions, a primary contributor to global warming...
...and yet the coal industry wants you to believe that building more coal fired power plants in Michigan is a good idea!
...and now utilities want to burn (as biomass) our trees that capture and store harmful carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we need to live
Integrated Resource Planning (IRP)
While Michigan’s demand for electricity is not growing fast, sometime in the near future new sources of electric power will be necessary. Any new source of power will cost money. The question is: How can Michigan ratepayers get the “best deal” on their energy investments? The answer is Integrated Resource Planning (IRP).
What Is Integrated Resource Planning?
In the past, the only question asked of energy providers regarding proposed energy projects has been, “Are the costs reasonable and prudent?” There has been no attempt to determine whether the energy alternative proposed makes the most sense or is the most cost effective compared to other alternatives. That’s no way to protect ratepayers. Michigan deserves the best deal possible, after having explored all possible options.
New power plants are just one source of new energy, and they can cost billions of dollars. But today, electrical utilities have a variety of options to satisfy demand for electricity. They can invest in renewable energy, implement or expand energy efficiency programs, renovate old facilities, build new facilities or buy electricity on the wholesale market. An IRP process makes sure that electric providers have explored all the options and have chosen the one which has the lowest cost and provides the greatest benefit for Michigan.
Any energy provider wishing to construct or buy new generating capacity would go through the IRP process, consisting of an application to the Public Service Commission (PSC) and a detailed analysis that would include:
(a) Up-to-date demand forecasts (forecasts contained in the 21st Century Energy Plan are now almost 2 years old);
(b) Identification of all possible ways to reduce electricity demand, including their costs;
(c) Identification of all possible ways to increase electricity supply, including their costs;
(d) An analysis of economic development (job creation) opportunities for each alternative;
(e) Risks of cost increases associated with each option, including construction cost overruns, fuel cost volatility, and new fees and surcharges (including future costs of controlling carbon);
(f) Any additional related costs, such as money leaving the state to buy fuel, health care costs, and natural resource damages.
(g) Establish protocol by which public input is invited and evaluated at the beginning and at periods during the process. And to respect the public’s right to intervene with discovery at any point in the process.
The PSC would review the information in transparent and public process and then make a decision as to the appropriateness of the proposed alternative. The PSC would be required to determine that the alternative proposed by the electric provider is in the best interest of the ratepayers and represents the alternative that minimizes long-term costs and maximizes long-term benefits to Michigan.
Why Do Integrated Resource Planning?
IRP will ensure that Michigan makes smart decisions about our energy future. To help revitalize Michigan’s economy, our state needs to keep electric rates as low as possible, while getting the greatest return on our energy investments. IRP will ensure that utilities remain strong and viable, while helping create new jobs.
IRP also addresses the current market defect of not being able to tell the difference between dirty energy and sustainable, clean energy. If Michigan can obtain clean, renewable energy at the same cost as energy that contributes to global warming, it’s time to switch.
Integrated Resource Planning asks the right questions and ensures that Michigan gets the “best deal” for its energy dollar.
Source : Tom Karas Michigan Energy Alternatives Project