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Extracting Profits, Causing Harm, and Damaging Democracy


Consumers Energy, the primary business of CMS Energy, is the second-largest utility corporation in Michigan by customers, providing electric service to 1.8 million and gas service to 1.7 million people. Consumers Energy, like other investor-owned utilities (IOUs), is ultimately concerned with extracting the most profits for its investors and shareholders to whom the company answers. It is clear to Michigan residents that IOUs, like Consumers Energy, will not protect their interests in providing clean, reliable, and affordable energy to Michigan residents without policy interventions and regulation from our government. This report aims to shed light on some of the most problematic aspects of Consumers’ practices that cause financial and health harm to Michigan residents and our planet. This information includes: who Consumers’ major shareholders are, the sky-high compensation of board of directors and executive leadership, the strategic direct campaign donations Consumers gives to our legislators, and the influence of its shadowy dark money group on our state politics and our livelihoods. This report is loosely modeled after We the People Michigan Action Fund’s report on DTE Energy, The Public’s Case Against DTE Energy. In the statewide fight for energy affordability and reliability, and in holding the IOUs accountable, organizers working on this issue have been able to turn to the DTE Energy report to gather critical information to use in key advocacy opportunities against DTE Energy. However, organizers lack similar resources on Consumers Energy. The purpose of this report is to meet this need and make this information more transparent to the public.