Clean Energy Now–a coalition of groups in Michigan fighting several proposed coal plants–is citing a new study titled “Michigan: Assessing the Costs of Climate Change” to bolster its case for regulating CO2 emissions from power plants. The group is asking that Governor Jennifer Granholm issue an executive order directing the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to regulated carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.
The study, conducted by the National Conference of State Legislators, predicts that Michigan could lose billions of dollars in commerce due to rising temperatures and declining water levels in the Great Lakes. Among the specifics, the study says:
* The cost for dredging operations used to combat falling water levels in the Great Lakes could see an increase of $92 million to $145 million per year
* The Detroit port alone is expected to lose an estimated $140 million annually, which will cost the area 1,500 jobs
* Overall job losses around the state could peak at 13,000, the study says
* The state’s agricultural industry could also see losses of as much as $20 billion annually, due to soil erosion caused by a hotter, dryer climate