I have been following the plans by Wolverine Power to build a new coal-fired power plant in Rogers City, Michigan pretty closely. In May of last year, I blogged about the denial of their permit by the Granholm administration. Then, in April this year, I wrote about how the zombie power plant had risen from the dead.
Today, the zombie became fully alive. Here’s the email that just hit my inbox:
Dear Interested Party,
On June 29, 2011, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) approved the Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. Permit to Install application for the installation of two 300-megawatt circulating fluidized bed solid fuel-fired boilers and associated equipment in Rogers City, Michigan. As a part of this approval, staff revised and added conditions to the permit to address certain information received during the public participation process and the subsequent analysis of that information.
This permit application was originally denied on May 21, 2010, due to a failure to demonstrate a need for the facility. This decision was subsequently challenged by Wolverine and in its Opinion and Order dated January 28, 2011, the Missaukee County Circuit Court ruled that the alleged lack of need for the facility alone, separate from air quality concerns, is not a legal basis to deny the permit application. The facility satisfies the air quality requirements the MDEQ is to apply to Wolverine’s permit application pursuant to the Circuit Court’s Opinion and Order. The Response to Comments document, Permit Terms and Conditions, and Company Approval Letter can be viewed at www.deq.state.mi.us/aps/cwerp.shtml.
Thank you for your input regarding our review of this permit application.
G. Vinson Hellwig, Chief
Air Quality Division
Interesting, isn’t it? It’s not necessary to show proof the plant is needed, only that it meets air emissions regulations. And, certainly if it is built, it will be opened and it will contribute significantly to the greenhouse gas emissions of our state, regulations notwithstanding.
In a day and age when we should be smart enough to know that building more fossil fuel-based energy plants is a bad idea and technologically-advanced enough to know how to build alternative energy plants, we’re taking a completely opposite approach. It breaks my heart that all of the way-paving done by Jennifer Granholm to put us on a clean energy path in Michigan is being undone by short-sighted, greedy, closed-minded Republicans and their corporate benefactors.