Snyder: Adaptability key to state’s energy, environmental future

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LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder today delivered a special message on energy and the environment, calling for long-term, adaptable policies that ensure Michigan has the energy future generations need to thrive, while ensuring Michigan’s natural wonders are preserved and protected for years to come. 

The governor spoke from the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station near Kalamazoo, where he highlighted his vision for a comprehensive energy policy that safely and efficiently delivers an abundant supply of energy through a reliable infrastructure that is environmentally friendly. Snyder said keeping the air, water and land in Michigan clean and beautiful is essential to upholding the state’s 175 year tradition of environmental stewardship. 

“The reinvention of Michigan will not be complete without energy and environmental policies that make our state a place our children and grandchildren will still want to live, work and play,” Snyder said. “We must pursue policies that can adapt with the times while still offering solutions that will provide a future for our kids.” 

Snyder said Michigan must identify adaptable solutions that will be good for the state not just in one possible future, but in many possible futures, and that opportunities exist for which action can be taken today without regret, despite any future uncertainty. 

In addition to adaptability, Snyder’s message highlighted three pillars of energy policy that every decision must stand upon: 

  • Reliability. We all depend on having the power stay on: whether at home, at work, or on the road. This challenge has and will only grow over time. Michigan needs to take action to ensure reliability is an area of strength for all of our state today and in the future.
  • Affordability. Michigan’s energy needs to come at an affordable price to our businesses and homes, yet our electricity prices are the highest in the Midwest, and most of the U.S. enjoys lower prices. The economy and stiff federal requirements have driven up costs, putting further strain on families and businesses. Having affordable energy is critical for all of Michigan.
  • Environmental protection. Energy choices must always recognize the responsibility to protect Michigan’s environment. Strict and comprehensive regulations on drilling and wastewater management work and many successful companies safely produce oil and natural gas while making sure Michigan’s waters remain clean. Protecting the environment is integral to Michigan’s energy future.

Based on those pillars, Snyder said efficiency, production, transmission and an overall comprehensive strategy are essential. An efficient energy system will accomplish the same or more while expending less energy, saving customers money and better protecting the environment; Making sure enough energy is available will lead to lower costs and better reliability; Having an adequate means to store and distribute energy is also a requirement, and partnering with the federal government on a national energy policy will help improve Michigan’s energy use.

“Our natural resources form the basis of life and the quality of life that define Michigan,” Snyder said. “Identifying our priorities and moving forward with resolve and purpose will help safeguard our precious resources while creating a better place for our families.” 

Above all, Snyder said Michiganders should be reminded ecosystems are all interconnected, and the best environmental solutions can solve more than one problem. “We are committed to reinventing Michigan and must work to support and enhance our efforts to protect our environment and ensure our energy future,” said Snyder. “With the help of both the Legislature and citizens, we will realize our full potential.”

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