Natural gas scare prompts review of Michigan energy systems

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has formally requested that the Michigan Public Service Commission conduct a statewide review of supply and deliverability of natural gas, electricity, and propane contingency planning.

In a letter to MPSC Chair Sally Talberg, Governor Whitmer is requesting that the MPSC complete their initial report by July 1, 2019, and that it evaluate whether or not systems are prepared for changing conditions and extreme weather events.

“We need to make sure that Michigan is prepared if we’re faced with another energy emergency,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Last week, Michigan families and businesses stepped up when Consumers Energy requested that we all turn down our heat to 65 degrees, and because of the sacrifices we made together, people across the state were able to get through a 48-hour period of life-threatening weather safely. As a direct result of climate change, Michigan is sure to experience more record-setting temperatures and extreme weather events in the future. The state needs to be prepared, and that means ensuring we have a reliable and affordable energy supply to keep our economy moving and keep families safe.”

Governor Whitmer requested that the review includes a description of the MPSC’s current plans for distributing energy during emergencies, an evaluation of the existing gas efficiency program, identification of areas or types of systems that are most at risk, and more details that will determine what work needs to be done to ensure Michigan is prepared for future extreme weather events and changing system conditions.

Full letter below:

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