Michigan voters favor changing energy mix – especially if it doesn’t cost anything

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Otto E. Eckert Station, a coal-fired power plant in Lansing, Mich. Photo: Jennifer Kalish.

Otto E. Eckert Station, a coal-fired power plant in Lansing, Mich. Photo: Jennifer Kalish.

More than 42 percent of Michigan potential voters think the state should dramatically reduce its reliance on electricity generated from coal over the next 25 years as technology improves and costs decrease for other sources, according to a recent poll by Public Sector Consultants.

But only 13 percent favor a dramatic drop in coal-produced electricity over the next 10 years, even if it means electricity rates were to increase, according to the poll of 600 likely voters done by the Lansing public policy company and Denno Research.

Poll respondents were told before answering:

“Michigan produces 57 percent of its electricity from coal, 11 percent from natural gas, 22 percent from nuclear, and 10 percent from renewable energy sources. Of these sources, coal is the source that produces the greatest amount of carbon emissions, a component of climate change. As you think about balancing Michigan’s energy needs with the price of electricity on one hand, and the environment on the other, which of the following statements comes closest to your beliefs?”

Other responses:

  • More than a quarter (27.5 percent) said Michigan should continue to use coal until other sources of energy are as cheap or cheaper.
  • Those who thought Michigan’s mix of electricity sources is appropriate and not in need of change in the next 10 to 25 years amounted to 11.5 percent
  • Unsure – 5.7 percent

The pollsters said that 54 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Independents opt for phasing out coal over 25 years, while 40 percent of Republicans want to use coal until a more affordable option is available.

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All stories about coal and electricity here.

One thought on “Michigan voters favor changing energy mix – especially if it doesn’t cost anything

  1. The latest facts in the next survey should result in the vast majority favoring a quick transition to
    renewable energy and energy efficiency.

    Wind is already cheaper than existing and new natural gas and coal generation in Michigan. According to the Governor’s and MPSC reports, existing generation for DTE and CMS costs $64 per MWh.
    A 20 year wind contract can be purchased for $50 /MWh and energy efficiency costs only $11 /MWh.

    Note, CMS already dropped their renewable energy surcharge and DTE reduced theirs to a minimal amount.

    Our electric grid operator (MISO) reports that 30% renewable energy can be easily incorporated in
    Michigan. They already handled 27% wind in Iowa last year.
    http://www.eenews.net/assets/2014/04/25/document_ew_02.pdf
    http://www.freep.com/assets/freep/pdf/C4218715214.PDF

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