Detroit – For those looking for a canary in the cap-and-trade coal mine, look no further than Michigan.
The ninth biggest state economy in the United States by virtue of its industrial might, Michigan is in the cross-hairs of the global-warming movement, and therefore a leading indicator in what a “dirty” state will need to accomplish to transition to a “green” world.
The state’s lefty governor, the Obama-esque Jennifer Granholm, is pushing hard for a 20 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), citing low-energy cost Sweden — a country of approximate population to Michigan — as an example of how to transform the Wolverine State to wind power. But she is ignorant of the fact that Sweden gets almost 100 percent of its energy from clean, cheap hydros and nukes — and the fact that Sweden is currently reassessing its commitment to phasing out nukes in favor of “alternative” sources — because the numbers simply don’t add up.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s biggest utility, DTE Energy, sees the walls closing in. On the one side is Granholm’s RPS mandate. On the other is Washington’s cap-and-trade jihad. So the coal-dependent utility is lobbying hard to overturn state energy deregulation, and return to the monopoly days of yore. This will guarantee higher rates for Michigan customers, but that’s what DTE will need to deal with costly mandates and the billion-dollar investments necessary to upgrade coal plants and build nukes to satisfy Washington’s caps.
Most significantly, perhaps, is that Michigan is already a national leader in CO2 reduction thanks to its ongoing one-state recession. With the auto industry retrenching under high labor costs and high gas prices, the state has hemorrhaged population and economic growth. The result? Michigan’s greenhouse gases have increased by only one percent in the last decade.
Funny that its political leaders aren’t rushing to the microphones to tout that “achievement.”