For several years Michigan has been pursuing a dual-track energy strategy: more coal plants and more clean energy. But as forecasts show demand slacking, energy imports draining the budget, and power plant costs rising, the calculus may be shifting.

Keith Schneider reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm is on the verge of a big announcement:

Senior Granholm administration officials declined to be specific about what they said would be a “major statement,” but indicated the governor might support a moratorium on approving new coal plants while the state formulates CO2 regulations–something coal opponents around the state have pushed for with lawsuits, petitions to the governor, and a steady barrage of press and grassroots events for more than a year. Or, some officials said, the governor might announce an outright ban on new coal plants.

Putting Rust Belt states in the vanguard of the clean energy shift is a powerful thing, symbolically, politically, and economically. Let’s hope Granholm goes big.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.