MARQUETTE – A panel discussion on power issues in the Upper Peninsula was hosted by State Rep. John Kivela (D-Marquette) and State Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) during the U.P. Energy Summit Tuesday in Marquette.
It was an opportunity for the public to ask questions about the federal ruling that is expected to affect electric rates for all users in the U.P.
One of the questions asked why the operation of the Presque Isle Power Plant went from $52 million this year to $97 million next year.
John Quackenbush, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission said the problem is environmental costs that are affecting the aging plant.
“There are some regulations that take effect in 2016 that result in about $8 million in environmental costs which is manageable but there is another EPA rule coming down the pike a couple of years later that will cost $140 million. I think that’s the one that puts the economic viability of the Presque Isle into question,” Quackenbush said.
Quackenbush said they have objected to an agreement that always We Energies, which owns the Presque Isle Power Plant, to double recover costs from the state and federal governments.
Also a part of the panel were Valerie Brader, Deputy Legal Counsel & Senior Policy Advisor, Executive Office of Governor Rick Snyder; Sally Talberg, Commissioner, Michigan Public Service Commission; Greg White, Commissioner, Michigan Public Service Commission and Peter Manning, Division Chief, Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Division, Michigan Department of Attorney General.
An audio of the panel discussion is posted above or you can watch the video at http://bit.ly/1yGqoyW.