2. What is the potential in Michigan for non-renewable generation from Michigan energy sources?


Michigan is fortunate to sit atop several shale plays.  And it is those shale plays, particularly the Antrim, Collingwood and Utica here in Michigan, that have given us an abundance and availability of a clean energy source that is home grown (Appendix A).  It is widely accepted now that we have enough accessible natural gas throughout our country to reshape the energy landscape (Appendix B).   And, for Michigan, some of the necessary production can be found within our borders.  With great infrastructure in place, Michigan has a major network of pipelines able to deliver the natural gas production to new power generation loads (Appendix C) and has unique geological formations that have allowed it to be a leader nationally in storage (Appendix D). 

On top of this, natural gas plants have attractive life cycle economics: 1) costing less to build than other intermediary or baseload generation and 2) operating more efficiently than plants relying on other fuels. The price stability (Appendix E) that comes with the abundance of domestic natural gas, along with the growing trend toward long-term contracts in the industry, further provides both producers and utilities with a stable foundation for Michigan's energy future.  That's why more and more electric generation nationally is being powered by natural gas today.

-Monica, Ruben Strategy Group LLC / ANGA

Energy Forum Comment


The recovery estimates for oil produced via CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) in this state range from a low side of 100 Million Barrels to some estimates of over 350 Millions Barrels.  At $90 per barrel that equates to real money, especially when considering the trickle down economic impact.  These recovery estimates can only be realized if there are additional sources of CO2 in significant volumes at strategic locations (ie. new power plant with carbon capture)

- Bob, Core Energy

Michigan has the largest natural gas reserves in the Midwest region of the United States, creating a significant potential for non-renewable generation.  The majority of this reserve is located in Northern Lower Michigan.  A robust transmission system (i.e., 345 kV) able to handle this additional gas-fired generation is important as Michigan faces looming coal plant retirements. - Kim, Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. 04/25/2013

Michigan has the strong potential to lead the world in ultra low carbon advanced technologies that utilize domestic natural gas that significantly lower the CO2 emissions from our energy system while also enhancing energy security by increasing domestic oil production. Natural gas fired power plants with carbon capture is ready for commercial application and Michigan, with its large oil reserves and existing enhanced oil recovery industry, is well positioned to support these projects.  More information here: http://www.power-eng.com/articles/print/volume-117/issue-4/departments1/gas-generation/the-dash-for-gas.html

- Sasha, Summit Power Group


Hydrocarbon development has been carried on safely for decades in this state and we have significant regulations for that to continue.  What many may not understand is that the cost of cleaning up a mess is so much greater than the cost of preventing one, it behooves the oil and gas companies to really do a good job in the first place. - Timothy, Brock Engineering, LLC


Brief analysis of legal loopholes related to fracking, and the need to address such loopholes in order to ensure that the process is conducted safely. - Kyle, Great Lakes Environmental Law Center

The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center

Who knows? But too little thought has been given to environmental impact of using precious water resources for the high-tech energy 'solution' known as fracking. Not enough is known for this to be stamped SAFE. I fear losing water forever via this method. We take our abundant water for granted because of our location. This can be dangerous. This resource belongs to us all, hopefully forever if we treat it right. Fracking does not treat water right. - Virginia, concerned Michigan resident 03/01/2013

First and foremost, let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. Hydrocarbons will remain the most important source of energy for this state for some time. In his energy address, the Governor made a giant leap of faith to believe that the State of Michigan will provide any shale gas potential equivalent to that of production in the Eagle Ford, Haynesville or Marcellus shale plays. To my knowledge, efforts to date in this state have provided marginal results, and to bank a future clean energy strategy on what appears to be noneconomic results thus far seems misguided. That said, I believe the state has provided a reasoned approach to innovations in the drilling industry through excellent regulatory oversight that has been in place in this state for much of the petroleum industry's existence.

The industry's new development of non-toxic frac fluid and the potential ability to use formation water for frac fluid are big steps in striving to be environment friendly. I also would advocate that Michigan's energy future continue to support clean nuclear energy development with all the necessary safeguards. I would support the Governor's move to keep and maintain natural gas interstate pipeline access to the State of Michigan, and would encourage him to quickly further open the electric choice markets to Michigan business to make us competitive with neighboring states. - Dave

I'm sure there are lots of areas that haven't been fracked yet and could be (though not without considerable citizen uproar). but just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Making decisions about fracking based on the utilities costs of power generation while ignoring the environmental costs that get externalized onto the poor citizens that were using the land first isn't an ethical way to make energy policy, and it will be resisted - PASSIONATELY. This is our home, and we are going to keep Michigan PURE. - Chris, EES 02/08/2013