Advance Notice: Briefs

AG joins legal brief to urge federal action on clean energy

By: - February 19, 2020 3:32 pm

3D rendering of battery energy storage | Getty Images

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined attorneys general from three more states, plus the District of Columbia and California’s clean air agency, in a legal brief urging the federal government to uphold orders to help states promote clean energy.

The amici curiae, or “friend of the court,” brief was filed on Feb. 7 on behalf of Michigan, California, Massachusetts, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, D.C. and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). In it, CARB and the attorneys general argue that the federal appeals court should uphold orders by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requiring changes in the energy market that will help states transition to cleaner power systems.

Attorney General Dana Nessel | Susan J. Demas

The FERC orders would specifically require administrators of regional wholesale electricity markets to allow energy storage resources to fully participate and compete in the market.

“By facilitating the transition to cleaner energy, storage resources can help us address the climate crisis and improve air quality,” Nessel said in a press release Wednesday. “For this reason, I have joined with my colleagues and the California Air Resources Board in filing this brief.”

Energy storage resources store excess generated electricity for later use, and can inject that power back onto the system when necessary. The attorneys general argue that this promotes efficient, clean energy and can lower costs for both consumers and providers.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s primary public utility for natural gas and electricity, plans to eliminate coal-fired power plants by 2040. This plan relies, in part, on increasing battery storage to achieve that goal.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins is a former Michigan Advance reporter. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service.