The state will study nuclear energy production as a greater source of reliable and affordable energy for Michigan families and businesses, thanks to an effort spearheaded by state Rep. Graham Filler.
Filler, of Clinton County, said energy independence warrants attention, especially as coal power plants are taken offline and foreign sources of energy become less dependable.
“As more and more coal-fired power generation plants are shuttered, it’s critical that we have a serious conversation about the baseload we’re losing and how we can make sure that Michiganders are still able to access reliable energy they can afford,” Filler said. “It makes complete sense for nuclear energy to be part of that conversation.”
One of the state’s three existing nuclear plants, the Palisades in west Michigan, shut down this year after more than 50 years in operation. It had been providing about 20 percent of the state’s reliable carbon-free electricity. While efforts are underway to try to reopen the plant, Filler said the state must also look toward the future of nuclear energy.
House Bill 6019, now Public Act 218 of 2022, requires the state to commission an independent study weighing the advantages and disadvantages of generating additional nuclear energy in Michigan. It will examine the economic and environmental impact, as well as potential new sites and safety criteria.
Filler noted that technological advances have transformed the nuclear energy field over the past two decades, making it an even safer way to generate reliable power with minimal environmental impact.
“Nuclear power generation is a safe, clean, and emission-free option,” Filler said. “This study will provide vital information that energy providers, legislators and community leaders will be able to rely on as they make decisions regarding the future of energy in Michigan.”
An income tax cut is expected to take place this year thanks to fiscally conservative practices, a large increase in surplus revenue coming into the state, and a 2015 law that triggers an automatic reduction of the state income tax when general fund revenues increase at a rate greater than inflation.