DIMONDALE (WLNS) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants lower-penensula residents to curb their energy use, following a natural gas fire at a Macomb County compressor facility Wednesday morning.
She called a late-night news conference Wednesday night to make an emergency declaration about energy use in Michigan.
The action comes after Jackson-based Consumers Energy asked both commericial and residential clients to reduce natural gas heat use following a fire at their Ray Compressor Station about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
She said given the cold weather, the fire and its impact on natural gas delivery throughout the state, steps need to be taken to mitigate the production slowdown to customers.
The company itself has asked its clients for voluntary and temporary reductions. During a media conference call Wednesday afternoon, Consumers’ Senior Vice President Garrick Rochow told Channel 6 News the company asked 12-20 of their largest industrial customers to tap down their usage. A company spokesman declined to identify those companies; only stating they could be categorized as “energy-intensive users.”
General Motors has been requested by Consumers Energy to suspend operations to allow the utility to manage supply issues brought on by the extreme temperatures and equipment issues.
A release by the auto maker Wednesday night states the Lansing Delta Township Assembly, Lansing Grand River Assembly, Lansing Regional Stamping and Lansing Grand River Stamping will begin to suspend operations during Wednesday’s 2nd shift.
Third shift and first shift operations are also cancelled. Essential personnel will be notified individually by management. All salaried personnel have been asked to work from home.
Additional information regarding Thursday 2nd shift operations will be announced later.
Channel 6 News received word a little after 8:30 p.m. about the governor’s media event to take place at 9:00 p.m at the State Emergency Operations Center at Michigan State Police Headquarters in Dimondale.
The event followed her news conference earlier Wednesday at the same location to help address threats to public health and safety in light of the state of emergency in Michigan.
Governor Whitmer officially made that declaration Monday night because of frigid temperatures and wind chills that have blanketed the region for the past few days.
As News 6’s Dana Whyte reported earlier, the governor says she has proactively reached out to the Trump administration, just in case Michigan would need help from the federal government.