Sierra Club reacts to MI coal plant permit approval

Michigan environmental advocates are criticizing the state Department of Environmental Quality's decision to grant an air permit for a proposed coal-fired power plant near Bay City.

Consumers Energy wants to build an 830-megawatt plant in Hampton Township. The DEQ granted the permit on the condition that the utility shut down seven existing plants. The state says the new plant must be ready to use carbon sequestration technology to reduce emissions. But Michigan Sierra Club director Anne Woiwode doubts that will happen:

"Something in the permit says that if the technology becomes available, Consumers would have to control carbon dioxide from the plant," she says. "That technology is a good decade away, and may never exist."

Woiwode says the utility may also have a tough time financing the new plant without imposing huge rate increases.