Michigan AG Schuette Wishy-Washy on Support of NEXUS Pipeline

Bill Schuette

NOTE: MDN corrected the story below. In a previous version we had confused Rover with NEXUS. We regret the mistake. However, the gist of our story was/is correct–that Schuette appears to support NEXUS, but has also filed comments against it with the MPSC.

Last fall MDN speculated Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s (Republican) keynote speech at the Michigan Oil and Gas Association’s Annual Meeting was likely an effort to repair the damage he had done to his reputation in aggressively attempting to shake down Chesapeake Energy over supposed lease collusion (see Michigan Succeeds in Shaking Down Chesapeake for Measly $25M). During his speech, Schuette gave his full support to the NEXUS Pipeline project (see Michigan AG Lends His Full Support to NEXUS Pipeline). Yet Schuette is also on record opposing a key request needed by one of the partners to build the pipeline. One of the partners in NEXUS is DTE Energy. DTE’s electric customers will benefit from NEXUS (cheaper natural gas to power electric plants, giving them cheaper electricity), so DTE Electric will charge those customers a small fee in their electric bill to help build the project. Schuette, at the prompting of Michigan Environmental Council and the Sierra Club, filed a brief with the Michigan Public Service Commission opposing DTE Electric’s plan to begin assessing the charge this year, in 2017. Why? Schuette says with the delays at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) due to lack of a quorum, there’s no way NEXUS will go online this year. NEXUS disagrees and maintains it will be online by November. So essentially Schuette took a swipe at NEXUS, after he had lauded them last fall. And what caused us to investigate and write about all of this is because two days ago MDN (and presumably other media outlets) got a brief statement from Schuette’s office, once again praising and expressing support for the project, admitting it “will be moving forward.” Whaaaat? He loves it, then he sides with antis against at it, then he loves it again. What’s going on?…

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