POLITICS

Michigan's Republican Governor Says State Will Comply With Obama's Climate Plan

"We need to seize the opportunity to make Michigan’s energy decisions in Lansing," Gov. Rick Snyder said.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said Tuesday his state will comply with the Obama administration's new environmental regulation
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said Tuesday his state will comply with the Obama administration's new environmental regulations.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) announced Tuesday that his state will comply with the Obama administration's new regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

"The best way to protect Michigan is to develop a state plan that reflects Michigan’s priorities of adaptability, affordability, reliability and protection of the environment," Snyder said in a statement. "We need to seize the opportunity to make Michigan’s energy decisions in Lansing, not leave them in the hands of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C."

The Obama administration last month released final rules for limiting emissions from power plants, setting a national reduction target of 32 percent by 2030, as part of a larger effort to combat global warming. The administration set emission reduction targets for each state, but directed the states to come up with their own compliance plans.

A group of Republican attorneys general almost immediately filed suit to block the rules, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been encouraging governors to ignore the EPA's regulations.

But Snyder's office said Tuesday that developing its own compliance plan is in the state's best interest. "Bottom line -- we believe it’s best for Michigan to be driving our energy policy and plans, not the feds," Sara Wurfel, a spokeswoman for Snyder, said in an email to The Huffington Post. 

"While the multi-agency state review of the utility carbon rule is ongoing, we have determined that with participation from our stakeholders, Michigan can forge a reasonable path to compliance," said Dan Wyant, director of the state's department of environmental quality.

As MLive reports, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) was among those who filed suit to block the rules. Schuette has said he is "deeply concerned" that the plan "causes the price of electricity to increase, placing jobs at risk and costing Michigan families more."

But Valerie Brader, the director of the Michigan Agency for Energy, said Tuesday that her office believes the final rules improve upon the draft version released in 2014, and that they give the state more time to comply.

“While the EPA did not accept all of our suggestions to improve its proposed rule, they did recognize our concerns about competitiveness in energy production," said Brader. "Michigan has made significant progress in recent decades to clean up its power production, and the EPA’s final rule recognizes our progress compared to other states in the region."

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