News Story

Nessel says her energy advocacy saved $3B in 2023

Attorney General neglects to mention her push to shut down the Line 5 pipeline

Attorney General Dana Nessel this month issued a press release saying she saved Michiganders $3 billion in energy costs last year.

Nessel says her energy advocacy was responsible.

Her announcement, which came on the heels of Consumer Protection Week, reads, in part:

It should be noted that the complaint area Gasoline/Fuel/Energy, which previously occupied the number 3 spot on the top 10 complaints list with 1,015 complaints in 2022, fell to number 7 in 2023 with only 591 complaints. This fall can inarguably be attributed to Nessel’s energy advocacy, which saw her intervening in utility cases before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). The result was Michigan consumers saving nearly $3 billion in energy costs.

Michael Van Beek, director of research at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, questions how Nessel’s energy advocacy led to fewer complaints.

“That $3 billion might surprise consumers who are still paying more year-over-year for electricity and other energy needs,” Van Beek told CapCon.

Michigan residents, who already pay some of the highest energy rates in the nation, will soon face steep increases, says Jason Hayes, the Mackinac Center’s director of energy and environmental policy.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s green energy plan for Michigan is self-destructive, Hayes wrote in an article published by National Review.

If Whitmer gets her wish to transition the state to wind and solar, Hayes said, Michiganders will pay an additional $206 billion for energy over the next 25 years.

“That would translate to an extra $1,500 in energy costs per household per year,” Hayes wrote. This, he noted, would come under a more optimistic version of the governor’s plan.

Under a more likely outcome, Hayes wrote, Michiganders will face an additional cost of $386 billion by 2050.

Nessel has supported the move away from natural gas and nuclear in favor of solar and wind power. One high-profile effort is her work to shut down Line 5, a pipeline that transports petroleum into the state, as CapCon has reported.

Line 5, which runs under the Great Lakes, provides the equivalent of 540,000 barrels of fuel daily. Much of it fuels the Lower Peninsula.

As a state website explains: “Some of the natural gas liquids are refined into propane and used in the Upper Peninsula, while other products are routed for processing at oil refineries in Detroit and Toledo, Ohio. The remainder crosses the St. Clair River for processing in Sarnia.”

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.