Michigan’s Energy Future kicks off

LANSING – The public input process announced in Governor Rick Snyder’s Special Message on Energy and the Environment has kicked off with the launch of a new website and the schedule for seven public forums around the state.

The public forums will be hosted by Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman John D. Quackenbush and Michigan Energy Office Director Steve Bakkal, whom the governor charged with co-chairing and overseeing the public input process. The information gathered will assist public policymakers and the public as they take a comprehensive look at Michigan’s energy future.

As he discussed in the State of the State address last week, Governor Snyder will rely on the results of this process when making his comprehensive recommendations regarding Michigan’s energy future in December.

The seven Michigan Energy Public Forums will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the following dates at the locations listed:

Thurs., February 14
Library of Michigan
702 W. Kalamazoo St.
Lansing, MI 48909

Grand Rapids
Monday, Feb. 25
Grand Valley State University
Loosemoore Auditorium
401 Fulton St. West
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

University Center (Tri-Cities area)
Monday, March 4
Delta College
Lecture Theater
1961 Delta Rd.
University Center, MI 48710

Monday, March 18
Western Michigan University
Fetzer Center
Kirsch Auditorium
2350 Business Ct.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5239

Monday, March 25
461 Burroughs Street
Detroit, MI 48202

Friday, April 12
Northern Michigan University
Don H. Bottum University Center
Brule & Cadillac Conference Rooms
1401 Presque Isle
Marquette, MI 49855

Traverse City
Monday, April 22
Northwestern Michigan College
Hagerty Conference Center
715 E. Front St.
Traverse City, MI 49686

The agenda for each event and speakers will be provided approximately two weeks before each session. There will be time reserved for interested members of the public to speak at the forums as well.

On Friday, Jan. 25, a new website to facilitate public input will also begin accepting comments. Michigan.gov/energy, which will remain open to comments until April 25, will be a key tool in data gathering.

To assist the policymakers who will be making decisions, commenters are encouraged to submit their factual questions, information, reports, and suggestions on what information is needed to make good energy decisions.

To help guide the participation process, co-chairs Quackenbush and Bakkal have developed a series of questions on the website that asks for specific information. All comments will be made available to the public for review and response. There will be specific questions in the area of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the regulatory structure for electricity, as well as other energy topics. To keep the focus on verifiable facts, commenters are asked to refrain from advocating or recommending a particular policy.