california set to completely destroy michigan

Everyone seems to be focusing on the fact that, during last night’s 60 Minutes piece, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he’d like to see the law changed so that he, as a foreign-born U.S. citizen, could run for President. I guess that’s newsworthy, but I was much more interested to hear the specifics behind California’s aggressive move toward energy independence and ecological sustainability. The California legislature has mandated that, in just a little over 10 years, 33% of all energy used in the state will be from renewables. And, they’ve given themselves just 8 years to cut tailpipe emissions by 30%. And, they didn’t mention it in this 60 Minutes piece, but California was also the first statein the country to establish a feed-in tariff system, which encourages the development of alternative energy infrastructure by promising producers of green energy that, if they generate power, it will be bought at rates set above current market prices.

Michigan, by comparison, not only has no real initiative underway to cut emissions, but has used what little political muscle it still has left to fight California for having the audacity as to suggest that cleaner running cars can be made. And, whereas California has mandated a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 33% in 10 years, Michigan just passed a rather anemic goal of just 10% by 2015. (Never a leader when it comes to such things, Michigan was the 28th state to adopt an RPS.) And, as we’ve discussed here before, the Michigan feed-in tariff legislation appears to have died an ugly death.

It’s clear, at least to me, where all the innovation will be taking place, and where all of the new energy companies will be locating… and, guess what, it won’t be Michigan. I hate to use the analogy of the Detroit Lions, but it just seems appropriate here. It’s like California and Michigan aren’t even playing the same game.

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4 Comments

  1. egpenet
    Posted December 22, 2008 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Last time I Googled energy rates per kwh in Michigan it ranged somewhere between .08 to .11, depending on the type of use: home, business, government. It’s still cheap enough to waste … and we DO just that.

    However, solar businesses are doing quite well … the Japanese/Dow consortium in Herkimer is expanding and the Ovionics group of energy-related companies in this part of the state are doing well also. But the vast majority of what is produced and the services rendered are in Europe, where energy costs are 30x-50x our costs … and where Russia is jacking up the price of natural gas along every pipeline into the continent.

    With the recession, the population decline and already cheap energy … is it any surprise that the MPSC is slow to approve power plant construction, especially the so-called clean coal plants, let alone nuclear. And what’s the argument in favor of wind farms along the Michigan west coast when power is so cheap? I know the answer, but doing the right thing is NOT what our legislature is all about. Hence, our failure as a state to lead in any initiative toward a cleaner planet … with the exception of protecting the Great Lakes from being exported to Phoenix.

  2. Ward
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I heard someone on the radio yesterday suggesting not only that they fire every person now associated with the Lions in any capacity, but that they change the name of the team, change the colors, change absolutely everything and start over from scratch. Maybe that’s something the state of Michigan should consider as well.

  3. Ol' E Cross
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    California has a huge energy problem and smog/pollution problem. It’s more car-addicted than Michigan which is why it’s always pushing Detroit to solve its pollution problem rather fund its own transit initiatives. California is setting standards which is may or may not reach in a climate where alternative energy sources are far more productive.

    When California public officials set a close deadline for 100 percent renewable water resources I may apologize.

    But, right now they seem to be doing exactly what Michigan officials are doing, which is going after what is politically easy and expedient. I’d suggest that although the uniforms may have brighter colors, they are playing exactly the same game.

    I’m fine with hitting our own folks for their lack of initiative but to set up a energy sucking smog belching state who elected Schwarzenegger as the polar progressive…?

  4. mark
    Posted December 24, 2008 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    You deserve a well thought-out response, OEC. Unfortunately, however, due to Christmas, I don’t have time right now. For the time being, though, I just wanted to point out that 33% in 10 years is neither easy or expedient. California has the 8th largest economy in the world, and it will be no small task to get them where they’ve indicated that they want to be.l You raise a good point about water resources – I think you’re wrong to suggest, however, that MI and CA are equally as committed.

    Merry Christmas.

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