Gov. Whitmer makes appointments to UP Energy Task Force

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Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced appointments to the UP Energy Task Force.  

“I’m committed to ensuring UP residents have an energy supply that is affordable, secure, and environmentally sound,” said Whitmer. “The members of this task force have a wide variety of knowledge and perspectives, who will make recommendations to ensure the UP has a reliable propane supply and to identify solutions for lowering costs.”  

The Governor has appointed 19 residents of this state, 12 of whom are from the Upper Peninsula, with a range of expertise in the energy field: 

Paul Ajegba, of Ann Arbor, Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation. The Director may choose a designee from within the department to serve in his place. 

Kristopher Bowman, of Gulliver, president of Bowman Gas Company in Gulliver. 

David Camps, of Hancock, owner and operator of Blue Terra Energy in Hancock. 

Liesl Eichler Clark, of Howell, Director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. The Director may choose a designee from within the department to serve in her place. Director Clark will serve as Chairperson of the Task Force.

Mike Furmanski, of Escanaba, electric superintendent for the City of Escanaba.    

Thomas Harrell, of Gladstone, CEO of Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association in Gladstone. 

Michael Larson, of Marquette, Upper Peninsula operations manager at Michigan Energy Options. 

Emily Leach, of Marquette, program manager at Superior Watershed Partnership. 

Jennifer Hill, of Marquette, Marquette City Commissioner and a contractor with Citizens Utility Board of Michigan. 

Douglas Jester, of East Lansing, partner at 5 Lakes Energy and has testified before the Michigan Public Service Commission on behalf of CARE, a consumer protection intervener. 

James Kochevar, of Marquette, general manager for Cleveland Cliffs’ iron ore mining and processing location in Ishpeming. 

Michael Nystrom, of East Lansing, executive vice president and secretary for Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. 

Tanya Paslawski, of East Lansing, president of the Michigan Electric and Gas Association and the executive director of the Organization of MISO States, Inc.   

Mike Prusi, of Ishpeming, Director of Governor Whitmer’s Northern Michigan Office. 

Anthony Retaskie, of Marquette, Executive Director of the UP Construction Council. 

Major General Paul Rogers, of Farmington Hills, the Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The Director may choose a designee from within the department to serve in his place. 

Dan Scripps, of Northport, Commissioner on the Michigan Public Service Commission. Commissioner Scripps will serve as designee of Commissioner Sally Talberg, Chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission.  

Roman Sidortsov, of Hancock, assistant professor of energy at Michigan Technological University. 

Warren “Chris” Swartz, of Baraga, president of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and a tribal council member. 

Executive Order No. 2019-14 established the UP Energy Task Force which is charged with addressing the significant energy challenges that UP residents are facing. This task force will look for alternative, long-term solutions to rein in UP energy rates in regions facing the highest costs and identify alternatives to meeting the UP’s current propane-supply needs.  

The Task Force shall complete its final report in two stages. First, the Task Force shall submit a propane plan to the governor by March 31, 2020. Second, the Task Force shall submit the remainder of its report by March 31, 2021. Ninety days after issuance of its final report, the Task Force shall dissolve. 

These appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. 

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