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Crain's Business Chicago: Peoples Gas' Pipe Replacement Should Not Restart

Posted by Samarth Medakkar on Dec 6, 2023

In a letter to the editor of Crain's Business Chicago, United's Samarth Medakkar advocates that the Illinois Commerce Commission's decision to suspend the Peoples Gas' pipe replacement program was in the best interest of Illinois consumers, responding to an op-ed published in support of the program.

Late last month, the Illinois Commerce Commission suspended Peoples Gas' pipe replacement and ordered an investigation into this program, which is responsible for an increase in rates since work began in 2011. The call to restart the program in the op-ed "The ICC needs to restart Peoples Gas' pipeline replacement immediately" (Nov. 29) is shortsighted, and doesn't factor in the surge in market trends toward home electrification technologies, driven by consumer choice.

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Topics: United In The News, Illinois, Samarth Medakkar

Consumers' Gas Investment Plans Threaten Skyrocketing Heating Bills, Stranded Infrastructure in Michigan

Posted by Rory Coleman on Sep 18, 2023

Report from Strategen Consulting and Advanced Energy United calls on Michigan decision-makers to study changing market conditions and cost-containment strategies for natural gas.

LANSING, MICHIGAN –Consumers Energy customers may see their gas bills increase up to 50% over the next decade according to a new report.

The report from Strategen Consulting analyzed Consumers’ 10-year Natural Gas Delivery Plan, warning that the utility’s $11 billion of planned infrastructure investments is unjustifiable and stems from faulty analysis and profit bias. The report estimates that the planned investments, coupled with conservative predictions for reduced gas demand from trends in electrification and energy efficiency, could cause the average residential bill to grow as high as $130 a month by 2030 – up from $75 in 2021.

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Topics: Press Releases, Michigan, Samarth Medakkar

Gov. Whitmer Calls for Permitting Reforms Alongside Clean Energy Standard, Other Climate Bills

Posted by Rory Coleman on Aug 30, 2023

Advanced Energy United applauds Governor Whitmer’s vision for achieving 100% clean energy by 2035

LANSING, MICHIGAN  In her “What’s Next Address,” Governor Whitmer named her clean energy priorities for the remainder of the legislative session, among them: reforms to permitting of large-scale renewable energy, a 100% clean energy standard, improvements to utility energy waste reduction programs, and authorization of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to consider equity and climate in its regulation of utilities.

“From her implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan, to the huge investments in clean energy in the most recent state budget, and the onshoring of battery manufacturing, Governor Whitmer’s leadership on clean energy is undeniable,” said Samarth Medakkar, Policy Principal with Advanced Energy United. “We appreciate this comprehensive approach which not only sets ambitious targets for renewable power and energy efficiency, but also lays out practical reforms for permitting processes and regulatory oversight that will make those goals possible.”

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Topics: Press Releases, Michigan, Samarth Medakkar

Solar Industry Magazine: Michigan Budget Invests Big in Clean Energy Transition

Posted by Valerie Swiantek on Jul 3, 2023

Solar Industry Magazine reviews Michigan's fiscal year 2024 budget with significant allocations toward advanced energy technologies and greenhouse gas reductions, quoting Samarth Medakkar on how this will help boost the already-growing clean economy in the state.

The Michigan legislature passed a fiscal year 2024 budget which received bipartisan support and will go into effect immediately after approval from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The state budget makes key investments in infrastructure including advanced energy, which will add jobs to the state’s strong clean energy industry while improving grid resiliency, lowering energy bills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“This budget represents a historic investment in Michigan’s infrastructure and doubles down on the jobs that are part of the fastest growing industry sectors in the nation,” says Samarth Medakkar, Michigan state lead for Advanced Energy United, the national association of businesses working to achieve 100% clean energy and electrified transportation.

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Topics: United In The News, Michigan, Samarth Medakkar

Michigan’s Latest Budget Makes Progress on Clean Energy and Transportation

Posted by Adam Winer on Jun 29, 2023

Advanced Energy United commends Michigan legislators for passing a strong budget that will advance transportation electrification, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and resiliency. Work remains—the legislature must take bold action on clean energy after summer recess.

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Topics: Press Releases, Michigan, Samarth Medakkar

Energy News Network: Why the State Budget This Year Is Key to Michigan’s Transportation Future

Posted by Laura Sherman and Samarth Medakkar on Apr 27, 2023

In an op-ed in Energy News Network, Samarth Medakkar joins Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman in writing about the ways Michigan's 2024 budget is set to expand the state's EV infrastructure and how the Gov. Whitmer administration can fully realize its EV goals with that funding.

The shift to electric vehicles is firmly under way in Michigan. Across the Whitmer administration,  the legislature, local and municipal governments and the private sector, a number of initiatives have been launched to make that transition happen. But the next year or so might be the most crucial time to determine the success of those efforts.

Through fiscal year 2026, the state of Michigan is receiving about $110 million in federal funding to realize the state’s plan to build an electric vehicle (EV) charger at least every 50 miles along several highway routes that the state has nominated for the federal government to designate as Alternative Fuel Corridors. These include some of the most well-known and well-traveled routes in the state, like Petoskey to the Mackinac Bridge and Detroit to the Blue Water Bridge. This $110 million comes from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, a U.S. Department of Transportation program created by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

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Topics: United In The News, Samarth Medakkar

Chicago Sun-Times: Illinois Needs More Oversight of Natural Gas Utilities

Posted by Samarth Medakkar on Apr 11, 2023

In a letter to the editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, Samarth Medakkar writes about equitable consumer protection enforcement for all utilities.

Recently, Gov. J.B. Pritzker wrote an opinion piece on the need for legislation that would make natural gas utilities more accountable to Illinoisans by increasing oversight of their spending on financially risky infrastructure projects. He’s right.

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Topics: United In The News, Samarth Medakkar