A coal plant in Delta Township, west of Lansing, will be shut down by 2025.

The coal burning plant, Erickson, is owned by Lansing Board of Water and Light.  The BWL is a municipally owned utility, providing drinking water, electricity, steam and related services to the Greater Lansing area.

The Lansing State Journal reported on this closure and Spokesman for the city owned utility, Stephen Serkian, was quoted in the article stating:

The BWL’s coal plants have served our community well for many years, but by 2025 the Erickson power plant will be over 50 years old – 13 years older than its original design life, and ready for retirement

The interesting point about this closure is that BWL seems to have been influenced by a threat from the Sierra Club to sue BWL if they do not close this plant.

Sierra Club’s, Regina Strong, the organization's director of its Beyond Clean Coal Campaign in Michigan made an agreement not to sue BWL due to what they say are environmental violations if BWL were to voluntarily shut the plant down.  If these environmental violations are true, why not first attempt to address these violations and if they cannot be corrected or addressed in some manner then let us talk about shutting the plant down.

Ms. Strong is quoted in the article stating:

I think this is an opportunity for them to do the right thing, something we've been trying to get them to do all along

BWL stated that they have plans to replace its coal-based power generation with a mix of renewable energy, energy efficiency steps and natural gas.

The question is what if they cannot replace the energy provided by this coal plant with renewable energy and natural gas, then ultimately the citizens of Lansing who receive power from BWL will be the ones who suffer.

Ken Fletcher, the Delta Township Supervisor was also quoted in the article stating:

Definitely the sooner you can shut down these coal burning plants the better off we’re all going to be

My hope is that all these people are considering the potential negative consequences toward the citizens of Lansing when making these decisions.

It will be the poor and middle classes that will bear the brunt of these closures.

By the way what about all those coal miners who will lose their jobs, what does BWL and the Sierra Club have to say to them?

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595