Freedom Fights

Whitmer touts 100% clean energy standard, doesn’t mention nuclear

Governor’s plan to push solar and wind could be elevated to state law this fall

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pushed lawmakers to adopt a 100% renewable energy standard for Michigan during her policy speech Wednesday. The proposal is in line with the MI Healthy Climate Plan the governor issued last year, but it appears to leave out the only significant source of emissions-free energy.

“Let's enact a 100% clean energy standard for Michigan,” Whitmer said, standing before a message board with two large windmills on it. “This means all the energy we produce will be from wind, solar or other common-sense energy sources.”

Whitmer has supported nuclear energy in the past, but it was a notable omission from her speech. Whitmer successfully sought federal funding to get the Palisades nuclear plant in southwest Michigan back online. Palisades supplied as much as 15% of Michigan’s renewable energy at one point.

But the bill that comes closest to Whitmer’s 100% renewable standard takes two different positions on nuclear energy. Senate Bill 271 would require Michigan energy companies to run on 100% renewables by 2035.

Prior to 2035, nuclear energy is not considered renewable. From 2035 and onward, it would be.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.