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Environmentalists See Victory As Incentive For MI Renewable Energy

May 4, 2009

Midland, MI - Environmentalists in Michigan have scored a victory with the news that LS Power is suspending development of a coal-fired power plant in Midland because of regulatory and economic uncertainties. Nancy Janoch of MidlandCARES, a group which supports clean air and renewable energy, says the announcement means an opportunity for Michigan to develop new energy technology, and improve the health of residents who suffer from the environmental effects of coal-fired plants.

"Premature deaths, heart attacks and strokes, many many asthma attacks, respiratory and lung disease; the numbers are very high on those. So that's an unknown cost; it's not included in the cost of a power plant."

Janoch says Michigan has a great opportunity be a leader in the development of alternative energy sources.

"We have the car industry, with people ready to work in manufacturing. We have the schools and the education here, where we've got a lot of people graduating but we don't have a place for them to go; so here we have a chance for engineers."

Supporters of coal-burning plants say they are safe and provide low-cost power. However, Janoch says the move to wind and solar energy will improve Michigan's economy and provide jobs for tens of thousands of laid-off workers.

Tony Bruscato, Public News Service - MI