Michigan officials announced today plans to develop a State Carbon Implementation Plan (SCIP) to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants. The SCIP must comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP) introduced August 3. Without a state plan, Michigan would be subject to the federal implementation plan.

“This is great news for Michigan,” said Michigan United Organizing Director, Branden Snyder. “It illustrates that we can be a leader in fighting carbon pollution despite the efforts of our rogue Attorney General, Bill Schuette. We now have the historic opportunity to curb unchecked carbon pollution and reduce the impacts of climate change.”

Attorney General Schuette joined 14 other states last month in asking a federal court to block the CPP rule. However, according to Valerie Brader, executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy, Mr. Schuette is "pursuing that case in his individual capacity." Governor Rick Snyder reinforced this position stating, "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."

In March, Governor Rick Snyder said in his energy message that he'd like to see Michigan increase renewable energy sources and reduce waste through greater energy efficiency by between 30 and 40 percent. Such moves would give State leaders the opportunity to craft a plan that would spark local investments in clean, renewable energy and create good-paying jobs in energy efficiency that would also save people money on their electric bills.

To be clear, the specifics of Michigan’s SCIP haven’t even been discussed yet, but the final plan must at least meet the standards set by the CPP to protect Michigan’s public health, agriculture, and water resources from damaging carbon pollution. What that will mean ultimately will depend on robust, public input from impacted communities.

“As the response to Hurricane Katrina sadly illustrated, low-income communities and communities of color are impacted most often and most severely by pollution and climate change,” said Sam Johnson, Pastor at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit. “While I’m glad to hear the state will be developing a statewide implementation plan, it is critical that the administration partakes in a robust public input process and seeks input from the communities most affected by carbon pollution.”