Press Release

Press Release: Wolverine Pulls the Plug on Rogers City, MI Coal Plant


Dec. 17, 2013


 ELPC Applauds Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative’s Decision to Drop Proposed Coal-Burning Power Plant Project


Wolverine announced today it is ending the development of the Wolverine “Clean Energy Venture”


CADILLAC, Mich. — Today the Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative announced it is ending the development of the Wolverine “Clean Energy Venture,” a plan that included a coal-burning plant in Rogers City, Mich. The 600-megawatt venture was proposed in 2006.

“Michigan’s energy future should be driven by clean, renewable sources like wind and solar, and a strong commitment to energy efficiency,” said Andrew Armstrong, attorney with the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “We look forward to working with Wolverine to make this future a reality.”

The proposed 600 MW (two units, 300 MW each) coal plant in Rogers City would have damaged air and water quality.  Although the company touts the proposed project as “clean coal”, the technology they have chosen (circulating fluidized bed, or CFB) is not clean.  The plant would emit soot and smog into the air, including nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, greenhouse gases, and mercury—all of which damage the environment and threaten public health.

According to the plant’s air permit, Wolverine would have added 995 tons of particulate pollution, 1,344 tons of SO2 pollution, and 2,647 tons of NOx pollution annually. The company also proposed releasing 46.8 pounds of mercury pollution, which will end up in area lakes and rivers; 700 pounds of lead, and more than 6 million tons of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide.

Since 2009, ELPC has been working closely with several of our Michigan allies (e.g., Sierra Club, Michigan Land Use Institute, NRDC, Michigan Environmental Council) to oppose this plant.

ELPC led the legal opposition to this large coal-burning plant and worked with the nonprofit coalition of groups to use grass-roots organizing, media advocacy, and economic data to build the case against the Rogers City venture. We were able to demonstrate the power of a collaborative and targeted effort to assure that new power sources meet all federal air quality standards, and that such plants are not built unless there is a documented power need.

Wolverine’s decision caps a 7-year process of assessing the best path forward for Michigan’s energy needs.