Elections do have consequences. MIRS reports that Michigan House Democrats in their first press conference for the 96th Legislature called for the creation of clean coal-fired power plants as one of their top three priorities. House Minority Leader Richard Hammel and House Democrats should be applauded for breaking with former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the environmental lobby, who have launched a war on energy by consistently opposing the use of coal to generate electricity. The Obama administration has initiated a series of Environmental Protection Agency rulemakings that will make coal-fired power plants much more expensive to operate, causing energy costs to increase for both businesses and consumers.

Michigan would reap environmental benefits from the construction of new clean coal-fired power plants, which have less air emissions than the aging power plants they would replace. Coal will need to play a major role in providing baseload electricity needs in the state for the foreseeable future. The construction of new clean coal-fired power plants in the state will provide thousands of good-paying construction and operation jobs while ensuring that state households and businesses have an affordable and reliable source of energy.

It is encouraging that both Democrats and Republicans may be able to agree on the need to get rid of the cumbersome regulatory procedures regarding coal-fired power plants put in place by former Gov. Granholm. However, action by the Legislature is not necessary, as Gov. Rick Snyder has the ability to issue an executive order removing the previous governor's obstacles to siting coal-fired power plants. Gov. Snyder should act quickly.