LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has announced a new proposed settlement agreement with Consumers Energy Company. If the proposed settlement is approved, Consumers Energy would end their use of coal by 2025.
Ending coal use by 2025 would be 15 years earlier than Consumers originally planned. According to Consumers, it will be one of the first utilities in the country to end its use of coal. The settlement would also lead to the building of nearly 8,000 additional megawatts of solar energy by 2040. Consumers says that by 2040, 90% of its electricity will use clean energy resources. The proposed settlement still needs a final approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Consumers Energy has also agreed to donate $5 million this year to a fund that would help low-income utility ratepayers. The goal would be for $33 million in total assistance in additional $2 million increments over 14 years.
“Not only is this settlement a win for our environment, it’s also a win for Michigan ratepayers who have struggled to stay current on their bills,” said Nessel. “This agreement was truly a collaborative effort from all involved parties and a symbol of what we can achieve when stakeholders work together to create positive change.”
“On behalf of our 150,000 members across Michigan, we’re proud to sign onto this historic settlement agreement with such a broad and diverse group of stakeholders,” said Mike Berkowitz, Michigan Senior Beyond Coal Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club. “The Michigan Public Service Commission should approve this settlement so Consumers Energy can get to work moving beyond coal by 2025, planning for worker transitions, and building out a remarkable amount of clean energy. This is a groundbreaking agreement that ensures Consumers Energy is meeting the urgency demanded by the climate crisis while creating homegrown green jobs. West Michiganders can breathe easier knowing the J.H. Campbell coal plant will soon stop polluting their air as well as Pigeon Lake, a tributary to Lake Michigan.”