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Granholm may appeal order to reconsider coal permit denial

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network


A west Michigan judge has ordered the state to reconsider its refusal to grant the Holland Board of Public Works a permit to build a coal-fired power plant. Governor Granholm could try to appeal the decision in the closing days of her administration.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Van Allsburg says the governor exceeded her authority when she ordered regulators to look at alternatives to coal plants, and a region's demand for electricity before issuing a permit. Van Allsburg says that's a policy decision that should be made by the Legislature. The city-owned Holland Board of Public Works wants to build a so-called "clean coal" plant that would emit fewer fumes than the generator it would replace. The state says the utility is ignoring opportunities to purchase energy from renewable sources.

The governor's spokeswoman says Granholm, who is an attorney, wants to see the order before deciding on an appeal. That decision could also be bumped to the incoming administration of Governor-elect Rick Snyder, who takes office January 1.

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