SWM political leaders welcome Palisades reopening


Leaders around southwest Michigan are hailing news that the Palisades nuclear power plant will reopen now that the U.S. Department of Energy has approved a $1.5 billion loan for Holtec International to move forward with the project.

Congressman Bill Huizenga tells us growing the nation’s energy portfolio while creating jobs is a good investment for the federal government.

Frankly, as a nation, we’ve got to figure out how we are going to move forward with nuclear energy,” Huizenga said. “I think it is a very viable, necessary form of energy and needs to be part of our portfolio. So, now with this experiment and bringing Palisades back on, I think it’s going to be good. It’s going to be good for Southwest Michigan when it comes to jobs.”

State Representative Joey Andrews tells us the Palisades effort was the first thing brought to his attention when he was elected, and things have progressed quickly. He says southwest Michigan is turning a corner.

It’s going to make our area a center point for a lot of different organizations in the nuclear industry and engineering and that sort of thing,” Andrews said. “They’re going to look at our area and they’re going to study this. They’re going to want to be here as we’re doing it. So I think it really puts us at the forefront and makes us a leader in this.”

Andrews says the Palisades reopening will be a major boost to Van Buren County, which was hit hard when the facility closed. He adds it helps Michigan get more energy from a clean source.

State Senator Aric Nesbitt says the Palisades reopening will be a huge benefit to southwest Michigan.

“Palisades coming back online is a big win for southwest Michigan as it means more jobs and more reliable, affordable power for the people of this state,” Nesbitt said in a statement.

However, Nesbitt adds having Palisades online will help protect Michigan against green energy policies from Governor Gretchen Whitmer that put the state’s energy security at risk.

State Representative Pauline Wendzel, in a statement, said the project has cleared a major hurdle with the latest news.

“Palisades is one step closer to being a successful model whose re-opening will positively reverberate around the world, fueled by Michigan’s unwavering grit, innovation, and determination,” Wendzel said. “We have an opportunity to secure our legacy as a global leader in technology, discovery, and innovation, and today’s announcement brings us one step closer to achieving this shared, bipartisan goal.”

The loan approval is conditional on Holtec meeting all the regulatory and safety hurdles.