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Report: Clean Power Plan Will Cut Bills

Two new reports debunk claims that the EPA's Clean Power Plan would cost Michiganders in the form of higher energy bills. Credit: click/morguefile.
Two new reports debunk claims that the EPA's Clean Power Plan would cost Michiganders in the form of higher energy bills. Credit: click/morguefile.
July 27, 2015

LANSING, Mich. - If lower electricity bills sound good to you, two new reports find that the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan is the way to get there.

The plan is expected to be finalized this summer.

Opponents claim it will lead to higher bills, but a new analysis from Synapse Energy Economics finds the average U.S. household will save $35 per month by 2030, taking into account investments in renewables and energy efficiency.

Report co-author and principal economist Elizabeth Stanton says if the state's leaders make wise choices in implementing the plan, good things will follow for consumers.

"Michigan households, taking advantage of energy efficiency programs under the proposed Clean Power Plan, would save $33 a month on average, and their bills would be $80 a month in 2030," says Stanton.

A second model developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology, also shows a reduction in both emissions and electricity costs by implementing renewable and energy efficiency policies, coupled with a modest price on carbon.

In contrast, the report predicts that not implementing the Clean Power Plan, the average electric bill would rise nine percent over the next 15 years.

Critics claim the standards will cost Michigan and the nation jobs, but a public policy professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Marilyn Brown, says the findings also reveal a clean power pathway would be good for both the economy and for job creation.

"You spend a lot more on labor when it comes to energy efficiency and renewable systems than you do in the generation of electricity for large power plants, whether it's nuclear, coal or natural gas," says Brown.

Michigan is currently in the process of updating its energy policy. Current law states that 10 percent of the state's energy must come from renewable sources by the end of this year, which the state is on track to meet.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI