Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) issued Executive Order 2020-182 establishing the “MI Healthy Climate initiative.” The order directs executive agencies under Whitmer’s control to enact policies and programs which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state 28 percent below 1990 levels by 2025, and make the state carbon-dioxide-neutral by 2050.
Vague Plans, No Cost Estimates
The heads of the agencies charged with imposing the carbon dioxide reductions Whitmer demanded in her September 25 EO, appeared on a video conference call with the media on September 28 to discuss the plan. Those attending included, Liesl Clark, director of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE); Dan Eichinger, director, Department of Natural Resources; Rachael Eubanks, state treasurer; and Dan Scripps, chair, Michigan Public Service Commission. EGLE Director of Communications Hugh McDiarmid moderated the conference.
Although every one of directors who spoke on the call indicated they supported radically reducing carbon dioxide emissions as Whitmer is demanded, and claimed Michigan could obtain Whitmer’s 2050 carbon-dioxide-neutral goal, when asked by reporters what types of steps they might take to reduce emissions, none of the directors could name a concrete action they were considering implementing.
They were equally vague concerning what Whitmer’s EO might cost Michigan residents, and the state itself, to implement and maintain the program, or how it would be paid for, when asked by The Center Square reporter Bruce Walker, in an email.
“Actually, the state budget office would be best suited to address that question,” Eubanks said. “Unfortunately, I don’t think they have representation here, but perhaps…if any of the other directors that work more closely with the area have a sense of cost and how that might impact the state budget.”
Scripps also said he had no idea what the program might cost or what impact it would have on the state budget.
Plan Will ‘Squander’ Billions
Although he had yet to crunch the numbers on Michigan’s program, Isaac Orr, a policy fellow with the Center of the American Experiment, told The Center Square his analysis for a similar carbon dioxide-neutral adopted in Minnesota showed it would cost the state billions. Orr continued there was no reason for believing the costs of Michigan’s program would be any less.
“Gov. Whitmer will squander more than $100 billion on wind turbines and solar panels that will be scrap metal in 25 years,” Orr told The Center Square.
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.