Detroit, Mich. — Fresh off a State of the State address in which she said she would review (read “kill”) seven Michigan coal plants under consideration while transitioning to an economy powered by wind, Democratic governor Jennifer Granholm visited the Detroit News Wednesday morning to expound on her energy vision.
In answer after answer, she was the picture of the energy cluelessness that is the hallmark of “change” that has come to American politics.
“Wind power is the cheapest form of energy,” Granholm repeatedly insisted of a technology that no utility will consider without massive public subsidies or without a government RPS mandate to build. Up is down. Black is white. The sky is green.
Though she has traveled to Scandinavia and heralded its countries’ progressive wind mandates, she claimed ignorance of Denmark’s failed experiment to replace the country’s coal power with wind–a boondoggle that has left Denmark with the highest electric rates in Europe and thousands of windmills that are too erratic to reliably contribute to the country’s electricity grid.
Though the governor denied that her surrender to Green Lobby demands to hold up coal-plant licensing was an effort to snuff coal in the state, she reiterated her plan to end Michigan’s “dependence” on coal in favor of conservation and renewables.
She cited the “Obama Administration’s clear commitment to a cap-and-trade system” as reason not to go forward on coal power, arguing that they were far too risky to fund at this point. Her position was curiously passive for the governor of the ninth biggest goods-producing state in the Union–a state that should be lobbying for cheap power, not allying with its enemies.
She did allow that she was open to carbon-sequestration technologies even though building “clean coal” plants is cost-prohibitive. The word “nuclear” never crossed her lips–neither during the interview nor during her Tuesday night State of the State address. Meanwhile, Granholm patted herself on the back for Michigan’s new tax credits subsidizing the development of battery-powered cars that she–as seen in her crystal ball?–says is the future of automobilty. But can Michigan meet future industrial demand and future plug-in transportation demand with wind power?
On green mandates, public infrastructure spending, and labor issues, Obama-econ-advisor Granholm’s Michigan has been a harbinger of things to come from the new Washington administration. Be very afraid.