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May 12, 2009


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Bill Milliken and John Engler, in agreement on an important and meritorious proposal.

Now that's what I call "bipartisan."

Well-written, in any event, by Jack Lessenberry.

(does this thing work?...)

If you took the 10 Billion dollars that DTE says Fermi 3 would cost the rate payers of the State of Michigan and spent it on currently available solar technology to 100% offset the electricity needs of residential homes you could remove more that 13 million homes from the grid. That would create a lot of extra available capacity and create a lot more jobs. Why be a flak for Nuclear power when it makes no economic sense?

Efficiency is the only portion of our energy solution that saves businesses and ratepayers money, directly. It returns $3.50 for every $1 invested, cuts energy consumption and peak loading (and thus slows the need for new generation). And it creates in-state jobs. The big utilites aren't too fond of it because their profits are tied primarily to selling power -- not conserving it. And it is decidedly less visual than a wind turbine and less sexy than a nuclear plant -- meaning it rarely gets top billing in the media.

If there is an "article of faith" among environmentalists in Michigan, it's that our first three energy priorities should be efficiency, efficiency, and more efficiency.

It's funny; "efficiency, efficiency and more efficiency" is an article of faith among profit-minded businesses facing stiff competition, too.

We sometimes call that "the genius of the marketplace."

Yes, the skyrocketing costs of nuclear is downplayed and largely ignored. How can we ignore a price tag for nuclear which is 3-4 times what it was in the past, when these costs will be passed on to us? Also people don't understand that if utilities are allowed to build more nuclear plants, they get even greater control over the energy markets, since this kind of investment cannot be made by smaller competitors and they will also have no incentive, or need to build alternative energy sources. If Michigan is allowed to get all the energy it needs from nuclear plants, then wind, solar and any other source for this energy becomes moot and bye, bye, will go lots of the green energy jobs too. In addition, there will be no need for new transmission lines (which, I admit, might actually be a big plus and save money). But these new transmission lines would allow for a "smart grid", which we might not get with nuclear. If any new nuclear plants do REALLY need to be built because there is no other way, then they should at least be operated in competition with the existing utilities (by another utility company), so that the existing monopoly on power cannot be further consolidated. Therefore, new_nuclear should come with a new_utility, or even better, a publicly owned utility that would be REQUIRED to still invest in alternatives.

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