Advocating for Electric Reliability, Together
by Bob Hance on Wednesday, August 31, 2022
There’s no doubt that America’s energy system is going through a fundamental transformation. This transformation must be managed carefully, with a balanced approach that considers reliability, environmental stewardship, and affordability.
Lately, it’s becoming evident that the balance is off, and electric reliability is a stake. Electric grids are becoming stressed as baseload power plants (mainly coal plants but also nuclear) are being closed before their replacements are ready.
In June, we asked for your assistance in lobbying the Michigan Public Service Commission, state legislators, and Governor Whitmer. We explained our concern about the possibility of rolling blackouts this summer and in future summers due to supply issues impacting multiple states. You helped us ask the MPSC to prevent the premature closure of the Campbell coal plant owned by Consumers Energy.
I am happy to report that MEC members, along with members of several other Michigan electric cooperatives, answered the call. Almost 8,000 individuals generated a total of 44,282 emails to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), state representatives, senators, and the governor through the Voices for Cooperative Power platform. It was the largest response the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has ever seen on a single advocacy issue.
Unfortunately, the MPSC approved the early retirement of power plants, including the Campbell plant, that are essential to sustaining electric reliability. The good news is that policymakers clearly heard your voice, which is critical as we continue to advocate for reliability.
I am proud of the cooperative customers across the state for taking action on such a large scale. We proved that the grassroots could be mobilized quickly and in meaningful numbers. We were a united team working for an important goal – reliability. Today, I thank every member who answered the call when we needed you the most.