WHEREAS, Section 1 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 vests the executive power of the State of Michigan in the Governor;
WHEREAS, Section 52 of Article IV of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 provides that "[t]he conservation and development of the natural resources of the state are hereby declared to be matters of paramount public concern in the interest of the health, safety, and general welfare of the people";
WHEREAS, the Great Lakes are Michigan's most precious natural resource and the government of this state has a solemn, perpetual, fiduciary responsibility to protect and preserve the waters of the Great Lakes in public trust for the citizens of Michigan;
WHEREAS, the Great Lakes provide tremendous economic value to the citizens of Michigan in the tourism, recreation, fishing, and shipping industries;
WHEREAS, the availability, consistency, and velocity of wind in the Great Lakes makes their waters uniquely attractive to wind energy developers seeking to build offshore wind energy systems;
WHEREAS, Michigan State University's Land Policy Institute recently issued a study determining that Michigan could produce a significant amount of electric generating capacity from offshore wind energy systems in the Great Lakes;
WHEREAS, wind developers are currently exploring offshore wind energy projects in many states, including in the Great Lakes waters of New York, Ohio, Ontario, and Wisconsin;
WHEREAS, the State of Michigan holds title to approximately 40% of the bottomlands of the Great Lakes;
WHEREAS, it is likely that in the near future wind energy developers will approach the State of Michigan with proposals to build offshore wind energy systems in the Great Lakes;
WHEREAS, Michigan does not currently have established criteria to govern the siting of offshore wind energy systems;
WHEREAS, Michigan must proactively prepare for the possibility of wind energy systems in the Great Lakes by ensuring that wind energy systems are not constructed in locations that would unduly impact Michigan's tourism, recreation, shipping, or fishing industries, its wildlife populations, its property values, or its citizens' quality of life;
WHEREAS, if developed properly, offshore wind energy systems in a very small portion of Michigan's vast share of the Great Lakes could provide a significant portion of Michigan's and the Midwest's electricity needs, improve Michigan's economy, and create jobs in this state;
WHEREAS, electricity generation from coal-fired power plants is a significant source of mercury, sulfur dioxide, and greenhouse gases that are harmful to the Great Lakes, while wind energy systems produce zero emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide, and greenhouse gases;
WHEREAS, wind power is currently cost-competitive with other new sources of electricity generation, making wind power the fastest growing renewable energy resource in the United States and creating tens of thousands of jobs in this industry;
WHEREAS, because of the significant costs of transporting enormous utility-scale wind turbines, wind turbine manufacturers typically invest in manufacturing facilities in regions that have significant local markets for their products;
WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Energy recently cited a study showing that Michigan is one of the top four states to expand jobs in wind turbine manufacturing, with a job creation potential of over 30,000 jobs;
WHEREAS, Michigan already is home to dozens of companies in the wind energy industry, and hundreds more Michigan companies are exploring expansions in this industry;
WHEREAS, a Great Lakes Wind Council would provide the citizens of Michigan with a public forum to begin to answer important questions about where in the Great Lakes wind energy systems might be prudently sited and where wind energy systems should never be sited;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of the State of Michigan, by virtue of the power and authority vested in the Governor by the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, order the following:
As used in this Order:
A. "Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth" or "Department" means the principal department of state government created by Section 225 of the Executive Organization Act of 1965, 1965 PA 380, MCL 16.325, and renamed by Executive Order 1996-2, MCL 445.2001, by Executive Order 2003-18, MCL 445.2011, and by Executive Order 2008-20.
B. "Council" means the Great Lakes Wind Council created under Section II of this Order.
II. CREATION OF THE GREAT LAKES WIND COUNCIL
A. The Michigan Great Lakes Wind Council is created as an advisory body within the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth.
B. The Council shall consist of the following voting members:
1. The Director of the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth, or his or her designee.
2. The Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or his or her designee.
3. The Director of the Department of Natural Resources, or his or her designee.
4. The Director of the Department of Transportation, or his or her designee.
5. The Director of the Department of History, Arts, and Libraries, or his or her designee.
6. The President of the Michigan Strategic Fund, or his or her designee.
7. The Chairperson of the Michigan Public Service Commission, or his or her designee.
8. The Director of the Office of the Great Lakes, or his or her designee.
9. The following members appointed by the Governor:
a. One resident of this state representing a statewide environmental organization.
b. One resident of this state representing the tourism industry.
c. One resident of this state representing the commercial shipping industry.
d. One resident of this state representing the charter fishing industry.
e. Two residents of this state representing electric utilities.
f. One resident of this state representing independent electric transmission companies.
g. One resident of this state representing the wind energy development industry.
h. One resident of this state representing Native American tribal governments.
i. One resident of this state representing local government officials.
j. Three other residents of this state.
C. Members of the Council shall serve until September 1, 2009.
D. A vacancy on the Council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
E. The Director of the Department, or his or her designee, shall serve as the Chairperson of the Council. The Council shall elect a member of the Council to serve as Vice-Chairperson of the Council.
III. CHARGE TO THE COUNCIL
A. The Council shall act in an advisory capacity and shall do all of the following:
1. Identify criteria that can be used to review applications for offshore wind development.
2. Identify criteria for identifying and mapping areas that should be categorically excluded from offshore wind development as well as those areas that are most favorable to such development, and provide these criteria in a report to the Governor by September 1, 2009.
3. The Council's report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
a. A recommended process for engaging the people of Michigan in a public dialogue about offshore wind to ensure that statewide interests are considered whenever significant permitting decisions are made.
b. A summary of lessons learned from American and international offshore experience related to public policy, regulatory, and siting concerns for offshore wind development.
c. Options for how the public could be compensated for bottomland leasing and wind rights for wind energy systems.
d. Recommendations for legislation and for changes in administrative rules and policies related to the siting and development of offshore wind energy systems.
e. A recommendation as to whether Michigan should support the preparation of a programmatic environmental impact statement by the federal government for permitting offshore wind development in the Great Lakes basin.
f. An estimate of the costs and description of the benefits of continuing the work of the Council, if the Council deems it advisable.
4. Other functions related to the Council's responsibilities as requested by the Governor.
5. The Council shall complete its work by September 1, 2009.
IV. OPERATIONS OF THE COUNCIL
A. The Council shall be staffed and assisted by personnel from the Department, subject to available funding. Any budgeting, procurement, or related management functions of the Council shall be performed under the direction and supervision of the Director of the Department.
B. The Council shall adopt procedures consistent with Michigan law and this Order governing its organization and operations.
C. A majority of the members of the Council serving constitutes a quorum for the transaction of the Council's business. The Council shall act by a majority vote of its serving members.
D. The Council shall meet at the call of the Chairperson and as may be provided in procedures adopted by the Council.
E. The Council may establish advisory workgroups composed of representatives of entities participating in Council activities or others deemed necessary by the Council to assist the Council in performing its duties and responsibilities. Such members may include representatives from industry and the academic community, as well as individuals representing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard. The Council may adopt, reject, or modify any recommendations proposed by an advisory workgroup.
F. The Council may, as appropriate, make inquiries, studies, investigations, hold hearings, and receive comments from the public. The Council may also consult with outside experts in order to perform its duties, including, but not limited to, experts in the private sector, organized labor, government agencies, and at institutions of higher education.
G. Members of the Council shall serve without compensation. Members of the Council may receive reimbursement for necessary travel and expenses consistent with relevant statutes and the rules and procedures of the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Management and Budget, subject to available funding.
H. The Council may hire or retain contractors, sub-contractors, advisors, consultants, and agents, and may make and enter into contracts necessary or incidental to the exercise of the powers of the Council and the performance of its duties as the Director of the Department deems advisable and necessary, in accordance with this Order, the relevant statutes, and the rules and procedures of the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Management and Budget.
I. The Council may accept donations of labor, services, or other things of value from any public or private agency or person.
J. Members of the Council shall refer all legal, legislative, and media contacts to the Department.
A. All departments, committees, commissioners, or officers of this state, or of any political subdivision of this state, shall give to the Council or to any member or representative of the Council, any necessary assistance required by the Council or any member or representative of the Council, in the performance of the duties of the Council so far as is compatible with its, his, or her duties. Free access shall also be given to any books, records, or documents in its, his, or her custody, relating to matters within the scope of inquiry, study, or review of the Council.
B. This Order shall not abate any suit, action, or other proceeding lawfully commenced by, against, or before any entity affected under this Order. Any suit, action, or other proceeding may be maintained by, against, or before the appropriate successor of any entity affected under this Order.
C. The invalidity of any portion of this Order shall not affect the validity of the remainder of the Order, which may be given effect without any invalid portion. Any portion of this Order found invalid by a court or other entity with proper jurisdiction shall be severable from the remaining portions of this Order.
D. This Order is effective upon filing.
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan this 6th day of February in the year of our Lord, two thousand nine.
JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM
BY THE GOVERNOR:
Secretary of State