Live chat on Proposal 4: 25 x 25
11:52
Jen Eyer | MLive.com: 
Hi everyone. We'll get started here in about 10 minutes. Also, apologies for the initial mislabeling on this. Just to clarify, this is about the 25 x 25 proposal!
Friday October 26, 2012 11:52 Jen Eyer | MLive.com
11:56
Jen Eyer |MLive.com: 
Please feel free to submit your questions. This is a moderated chat, which means we will hold questions and pace them throughout the chat.
Friday October 26, 2012 11:56 Jen Eyer |MLive.com
11:57
Jen Eyer |MLive.com: 
We will publish general comments throughout the chat, as long as they are civil.
Friday October 26, 2012 11:57 Jen Eyer |MLive.com
11:57
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Just to let people know it is Proposal 3, 25x 25
Friday October 26, 2012 11:57 Guest
11:57
Jen Eyer |MLive.com: 
Yes, thank you, Guest. Again, apologies for the mislabeling.
Friday October 26, 2012 11:57 Jen Eyer |MLive.com
11:58
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Hi everybody. Meegan Holland here, statewide news editor. Jen Eyer of MLive and I will be moderating today's live chat on Proposal 3, the renewable energy ballot issue, also called the 25 by 25 proposal. You can start submitting your questions now - and thanks for joining us!
Friday October 26, 2012 11:58 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:00
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Today we'll be joined by Douglas Jester on behalf of proposal backers Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs, and Ken Sikkema for opposition group Clean Affordable Renewable Energy (CARE) for Michigan Coalition.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:00 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:00
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Welcome gentlemen!
Friday October 26, 2012 12:00 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:00
Ken Sikkema: 
Hello, everybody!
Friday October 26, 2012 12:00 Ken Sikkema
12:00
Douglas Jester: 
Good day. Thanks for hosting us.

Friday October 26, 2012 12:00 Douglas Jester
12:00
Ken Sikkema: 
Hello, Doug. Thanks for hosting us, MLive.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:00 Ken Sikkema
12:01
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Prop 3 reporter Melissa Anders will also join us - she's spent the last week doing a deep dive into the issue. I'll share those links in a bit. Welcome Melissa!
Friday October 26, 2012 12:01 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:01
Melissa Anders | MLive: 
Hi everyone, glad to be here today.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:01 Melissa Anders | MLive
12:01
Douglas Jester: 
Proposal 3 will require each electricity provider in Michigan to generate or purchase 25% of its retail sales from renewable sources by 2025 and thereafter. It will protect ratepayers by limiting rate increases due to the cost of compliance with this proposal to 1% of total electricity rates.

This proposal will result in the gradual displacement of coal-fired generation, currently 60% of Michigan’s electricity supply, with electricity from wind, solar, biomass, or hydropower. The estimated investment of $10.3 billion in renewable generation capacity between 2016 and 2025 will be more than paid for by avoiding the purchase of $14.5 billion in coal supplies and a significant amount in coal plant operations and maintenance.

Reducing Michigan’s use of coal will reduce premature deaths due to cardiopulmonary diseases by more than 100 per year and reduce the number of asthma attacks in Michigan children by more than 40,000 per year.

Substituting construction and manufacturing, which we do well in Michigan, for imported coal will produce employment and income in Michigan.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:01 Douglas Jester
12:02
Ken Sikkema: 
Michigan has already made a commitment to a greater reliance on renewable energy. The Legislature has required us to meet 10% by 2015. We're halfway there, so we need to double it in three years. The issue isn't about a reliance on renewable energy, but doing it in a way that's affordable, that's reliable, doesn't disrupt local communities, and is flexible - and that's the problem with Proposal 3.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:02 Ken Sikkema
12:02
Ken Sikkema: 
It's an expensive proposal - costing at least $12 billion - resulting in ratepayers paying thousands of dollars. It has the potential to disrupt many communities that might not want wind farms. It doesn't provide a plan for the backup power when the wind doesn't blow.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:02 Ken Sikkema
12:02
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Great - thanks Ken and Douglas for giving your stands on the issue!
Friday October 26, 2012 12:02 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:02
[Comment From AlexAlex: ] 
@ken, I have heard the argument that we should wait until 2015 and evaluate the current 10% standard then, how many times does business wait until after the project life cycle to decide to continue? Doesn't that type of thinking stifle investment and limit innovation?
Friday October 26, 2012 12:02 Alex
12:02
Ken Sikkema: 
And on top of all of this, it locks the 25% standard into the state constitution - something none of the 29 other states with a renewable energy standard have done. The issue isn't should we have more renewable energy. This is just a reckless and foolish way to do it.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:02 Ken Sikkema
12:03
[Comment From Fred KellerFred Keller: ] 
Could each of you state briefly what you think the key reasons for and against the Prop 3 would be?
Friday October 26, 2012 12:03 Fred Keller
12:03
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Fred, hopefully you saw their brief positions above.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:03 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:03
Ken Sikkema: 
Alex - We're at 5 percent today, so reaching 10 percent in two and a half years is an ambitious goal. That's the proper time to evaluate the cost, the location, and the reliability of the greater commitment to renewable resources. The legislature required us to get to 10% by 2015 with the assumption that we would evaluate adjusting it at that time.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:03 Ken Sikkema
12:04
Douglas Jester: 
I think the case is simple...this is the future of electricity generation. It doesn't cost more than conventional generation and has health and economic benefits
Friday October 26, 2012 12:04 Douglas Jester
12:04
[Comment From Grace SharkeyGrace Sharkey: ] 
Where does CARE get this 12 million dollar figure from? I have looked for sources on your website and could not find this study.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:04 Grace Sharkey
12:04
[Comment From DougHDougH: ] 
Can your panelists comment on the provision in the measure that could circumvent local zoning and planning in siting the wind farms? I am very concerned about that issue.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:04 DougH
12:05
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Ken will answer Grace's question - he's representing Clean Affordable Renewable Energy (CARE) for Michigan Coalition.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:05 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:05
Douglas Jester: 
DougH, there is no provision that would circumveent local zoning. That is a strawman argument offered by CARE. I would oppose such a law
Friday October 26, 2012 12:05 Douglas Jester
12:06
Ken Sikkema: 
Grace - The $12 billion is an estimate based on the $4 million per wind mill being constructed today, and the requirement of over 3,000 windmills to meet the 25% standard. The $12 billion is an extremely conservative estimate -- Moody's Investors Services from NY late last week issued a report saying it would cost at least $15 billion, and that is an independent evaluation from Moody's. Whether it's $12 or $15 billion, it translates into thousands of dollars on the backs of families and businesses in Michigan.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:06 Ken Sikkema
12:06
[Comment From ChristieChristie: ] 
@Ken, how much does energy cost now, and what does $12 billion mean for each household over the course of the proposal?
Friday October 26, 2012 12:06 Christie
12:06
Douglas Jester: 
DougH, further it will only take 6% of Michigan's capacity for wind on-land to meet this requirement so it isn't remotely necessary
Friday October 26, 2012 12:06 Douglas Jester
12:06
Ken Sikkema: 
Doug H - The Citizens Research Council - with an independent analysis of Prop 3 - said that in order to meet the 25% standard, the state would have to revisit the issue of local zoning.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:06 Ken Sikkema
12:07
Melissa Anders | MLive: 
Doug, can you explain why a constitutional amendment is needed, instead of a voter-initiated law?
Friday October 26, 2012 12:07 Melissa Anders | MLive
12:07
Douglas Jester: 
We think that $12 billion is a slight overestimate - we project $10.3 billion. Importantly, this cost will be offset by avoided costs of conventional generation so that the net cost is small.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:07 Douglas Jester
12:07
Ken Sikkema: 
Christie - The cost of Prop 3 will result in the ratepayers of Michigan - families and businesses - paying thousands of dollars in increased electric bills and taxes.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:07 Ken Sikkema
12:08
Ken Sikkema: 
Doug, your last campaign finance report showed over 80% of all contributions were from out-of-state. How much out-of-state money are you reporting today?
Friday October 26, 2012 12:08 Ken Sikkema
12:08
Douglas Jester: 
Melissa, it was our judgement that we couldn't get this done through the legislature anytime soon and there is some urgency o move ahead. So, we went to the people.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:08 Douglas Jester
12:08
Melissa Anders | MLive: 
But you could have gone to the people with a voter-initiated law, right?
Friday October 26, 2012 12:08 Melissa Anders | MLive
12:09
Douglas Jester: 
Ken's claim that ratepayers will pay thousands of dollars is very misleading. They will pay little more, if any, than if their electricity came from coal plants
Friday October 26, 2012 12:09 Douglas Jester
12:09
Ken Sikkema: 
Thirty states, including Michigan, have made commitments to more renewable energy. Not a single state has been foolish and reckless enough to lock it into their state constitution.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:09 Ken Sikkema
12:09
Melissa Anders | MLive: 
Doug and Ken, can you explain your thoughts on the current and future cost of renewable energy as opposed to cola-fired plants?
Friday October 26, 2012 12:09 Melissa Anders | MLive
12:10
Douglas Jester: 
A voter-initatied law would then require 3/4 vote of each of house to amend. A constitutional amendment setting the goal and leaving the implementation details to ordinary legislation is more flexible
Friday October 26, 2012 12:10 Douglas Jester
12:10
Melissa Anders | MLive: 
Oops, meant coal-fired, not cola!
Friday October 26, 2012 12:10 Melissa Anders | MLive
12:11
Ken Sikkema: 
Melissa - Public Sector Consultants did a study comparing the cost of conventional generation today with the cost of renewable generation today. The cost of renewable generation is considerably higher - 67 percent higher. Projections about future costs are just that: projections.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:11 Ken Sikkema
12:11
Douglas Jester: 
The Michigan Public Service Commission has already determined that new renewable generation is much cheaper than new coal-fired generation, roughly 7 cents per kwh vw 11 cents per kwh
Friday October 26, 2012 12:11 Douglas Jester
12:11
[Comment From Marco EsquandolasMarco Esquandolas: ] 
Hello, Will our electric costs go up even if we vote down this proposal?
Friday October 26, 2012 12:11 Marco Esquandolas
12:11
[Comment From Marco EsquandolasMarco Esquandolas: ] 
The utility companies are raising the rates anyway correct?
Friday October 26, 2012 12:11 Marco Esquandolas
12:11
[Comment From Marco EsquandolasMarco Esquandolas: ] 
this is basically big utility compies vs big green companies correct?
Friday October 26, 2012 12:11 Marco Esquandolas
12:12
Douglas Jester: 
Your electricity costs are going up about 4% per year even without this proposal, mostly due to the increasing costs of coal
Friday October 26, 2012 12:12 Douglas Jester
12:12
Ken Sikkema: 
Marco - Whatever you're paying today, Prop. 3 will raise your rates.
Friday October 26, 2012 12:12 Ken Sikkema
12:12
Douglas Jester: 
Prop 3 will not measurably affect your rates because wind generation is about the same cost as current generation
Friday October 26, 2012 12:12 Douglas Jester
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