State Rep. Brian BeGole today voted against a partisan plan that will radically alter Michigan’s energy policy, highlighting a targeted effort to centralize key energy decisions that will impact communities and residents.
Measures approved by House Democrats today would strip control away from local communities concerning the siting and construction of large-scale solar and wind energy projects. Under the plans, the unelected Michigan Public Service Commission could force the projects on local communities with little regard for residents’ concerns, and people would have no ability to hold the unelected commission members accountable.
“Local communities should be able to decide if these projects and local changes work for the people and families who call them home,” said BeGole, of Antrim Township. “Many communities have made it clear they don’t want this type of development through local elections and their local officials. We shouldn’t be stripping that away.”
Other plans call for utilities to have 100% clean energy by 2040, with several other mandates that will also increase costs. The mandates are similar to those issued in California that resulted in rate hikes, an unreliable energy grid, and widespread blackouts.
A recent analysis published from the Mackinac Center disclosed that a net zero energy plan could cost Michigan rate payers upwards of $200 billion overall in additional energy costs.
“These plans will give people more expensive and less reliable energy,” BeGole said. “Families and small businesses are already seeing high costs elsewhere in their budgets. Now they’ll have to account for these cost increases too.
“We’ve heard a lot about making Michigan more attractive and growing our state. Dramatically increasing energy costs will do nothing to make our state more attractive. It will only drive more job providers away.”
Each of the bills were ultimately approved by the House along party lines. House Bills 5120 and 5121 now advance to the Senate for further consideration. Senate Bills 271, 273 and 502, the clean energy mandates, will soon be presented to the governor for her expected signature.
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