"As billions in government subsidies were at stake, the electric utility industry shed its opposition to clean-air regulation and put its lobbying muscle behind passing President Biden’s climate bill."
"WASHINGTON — Just two years ago, DTE Energy, a Michigan-based electric utility, was still enmeshed in a court fight with federal regulators over emissions from a coal-burning power plant on the western shore of Lake Erie that ranks as one of the nation’s largest sources of climate-changing air pollution.
But in September, Gerard M. Anderson, who led DTE for the last decade, was on the South Lawn of the White House alongside hundreds of other supporters of President Biden, giving a standing ovation to the president for his success in pushing a climate change package through Congress — a law that will help accelerate the closure of the very same coal-burning behemoth, known as DTE Monroe, that his company had been fighting to protect.
Mr. Anderson’s position reflects a fundamental shift among major electric utilities nationwide as they deploy their considerable clout in Washington: After years of taking steps like backing dark-money groups to sue the government to block tighter air pollution rules, DTE and a growing number of other utilities have joined forces to speed the transition away from fossil fuels.
Their new stance is driven less by evolving ideology than the changing economics of renewable energy, fueled in part by the sheer amount of money the federal government is putting on the table to encourage utilities to move more quickly to cleaner and more sustainable sources of energy like solar and wind."