Nofs' Energy Legislation Should Complement, Not Repeal, Renewable and Efficiency Standards

Statement by Sam Gomberg, Lead Midwest Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Jul 1, 2015

CHICAGO (July 1, 2015)—Michigan State Senator Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek) unveiled legislation today that would put in place a regulatory mechanism known as an integrated resource plan (IRP) to shape Michigan’s energy future, while at the same time repealing Michigan’s renewable energy standard and phasing out Michigan’s energy efficiency standard by 2019.

Below is a statement by Sam Gomberg, lead Midwest energy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Senator Nofs’ proposal continues a disappointing push at the Capitol to replace Michigan’s successful renewable energy and energy efficiency standards with a more complex, less effective IRP process. While an IRP process can be a strong complement to renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, it is not an adequate substitute. An IRP process simply would not provide the certainty that Michiganders deserve when it comes to spurring investment in affordable, low-risk and environmentally sustainable energy resources like wind, solar, and energy efficiency.

“The governor has said he wants 40 percent or more of the state’s energy to come from renewable resources and efficiency. This proposal won’t ensure Michigan gets there.

"The legislation also would repeal two key policies that will help ensure that Michigan complies with federal power plant rules. If Michigan scraps its renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, it could be shooting itself in the foot. Those policies, plus coal plant closures, are what have put the state on track to comply with the EPA’s soon-to-be-released carbon rule.

 “Senator Nofs’ IRP proposal does include some constructive elements, such as stakeholder engagement and robust review of resource options and utility proposals. We look forward to working with him to improve his proposal. Hopefully we can do that in the context of complementing, and not replacing, the state’s successful renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.”