Michigan’s GOP governor will comply with power plant rules

Michigan’s GOP governor will comply with power plant rules

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) announced Tuesday that his state will comply with President Obama’s new rules for power plant emissions. 

Snyder’s decision runs counter to those of other Republican governors around the country, several of whom have either ruled out complying with the Clean Power Plan or suggested they will refuse to do so.

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The announcement also conflicts with action taken by with Michigan's Republican attorney general, Bill Schuette, who is among the state attorneys general suing to block the regulations. 

The federal government will create compliance plans for states that don’t formulate their own. In a statement, Snyder said he would rather the state write a plan than turn it over to federal regulators.

"The best way to protect Michigan is to develop a state plan that reflects Michigan's priorities of adaptability, affordability, reliability and protection of the environment," Snyder said, according to Michigan Live

"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.," he said.

Valerie Brader, director of the Michigan Agency for Energy, distanced Snyder and his administration from Schuette's lawsuit.

"The Attorney General is pursuing that case in his independent capacity. ... There are no plans for the state to join the current challenges," she said.

A spokeswoman for Schuette said the attorney general is “hopeful about the plan the governor’s office is developing,” but also that he “remains committed to stopping overregulation and excessive mandates from the EPA.” 

The Environmental Protection Agency has told Michigan to cut its emissions by 39 percent under the final rule, which the Obama administration announced in early August. 

Michigan officials, including Brader and the director of the environmental quality department, echoed Snyder and said the state is better equipped than the feds to write a plan meeting that target.

States are required to submit their compliance plans by next September.