SOAE 2020: This is Lansing
Posted February 11, 2020
Lansing, Michigan, has come a long way since the days of high unemployment and general malaise, when people joked that the last person to leave Michigan should turn out the lights. Today, Lansing is on the rise – one of many communities across the country that have been helped by the empowering nature of abundant U.S. natural gas and oil (see API’s 2020 State of American Energy report).
Lansing is home to new auto manufacturing plants, and the municipal utility, Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL), is replacing the last of its coal-fired generation facilities with a $500 million natural gas-fueled power plant. BWL General Manager Dick Peffley:
“Natural gas enables BWL to provide clean, affordable and reliable electricity to our customers while reducing our carbon footprint. As we work to integrate wind and solar, natural gas will also serve as an important backup for our growing renewable power systems.”
In Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, where Lansing is located, natural gas and oil add millions in workers’ wages, salaries and benefits and nearly $2 billion to the area’s economy.
Family-owned Swan Electric, an electrical construction firm, is one of a number of local businesses that have seen the cascading benefits of energy and its infrastructure. Swan Electric has supported BWL on projects over the years, including construction of a new 130-megawatt electrical Central Substation in 2018, located just south of Lansing’s downtown. Swan Electric co-owner Jennifer Van Dyke:
We’ve seen large energy infrastructure projects start a chain reaction and, by the end of it, these projects have facilitated thousands of jobs and provided immense benefits to our community. … American oil and natural gas play an important role in our economy. Lower energy costs attract industrial manufacturers to Greater Lansing, and that leads to more work for tier-two suppliers like Swan Electric and businesses of all kinds.”
Growth and empowerment, with a big lift from affordable energy.
Read the in-depth profile of Lansing here. Others in this series:
- This is Aurora
- This is Eau Claire
- This is Las Cruces
- This is Moon Township
- This is Red Wing
- This is Virginia Beach
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and six grandchildren.
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