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Politics & Government

Coalition of businesses and educators is fighting pending utility regulation

power lines
Stefan Andrej Shambora
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Flickr Creative Commons / HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM
A proposed rule would require electric utilities competing with DTE and Consumers Energy to source their energy from within Michigan, instead of from a larger market.

The Michigan Public Service Commission is considering a rule that opponents say would dramatically raise electricity rates for schools, universities and businesses, as well as potentially eliminate competition for Michigan’s two major utilities.

The rule would require electricity providers that compete with DTE Energy and Consumers Energy to supply their customers with energy generated within Michigan — instead of from a larger market.

“This would cause rates to skyrocket,” said Maureen Saxton, a spokesperson for Energy Choice Now. “And essentially it would put competitive energy out of business in Michigan.”

Saxton says the proposed rule goes against the specific intent of comprehensive energy legislation passed in Michigan last year.

Opponents of the rule include the Michigan Association of School Boards, the Michigan Association of State Universities, Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative, Amway, Kellogg Company, and U.S. Steel.

According to Nick Assendelft, spokesman for the commission spokesman, the group is scheduled to reach a decision on the rule at a public meeting this Friday, Sept. 15 at 2:30 p.m. at 7109 West Saginaw Highway in Lansing. 

Assendelft says the commission will be looking at issues of energy reliability, as well as cost and electric choice.

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