Rep. John Reilly, R-Oakland, has been elected chair of a newly formed caucus in the Michigan House of Representatives aimed at lowering energy costs.
Rep. Rose Mary Robinson, D-Detroit, will serve as vice chair of the Affordable Energy Caucus. The caucus also includes Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Township, chair of the House Energy Policy Committee, along with other legislators.
The caucus will meet monthly to discuss the financial impact of energy policy and proposed legislation, and work to develop real solutions to encourage growth and protect the rate-paying public.
“I’m honored to have been chosen by colleagues for this position,” Rep. Reilly said. “As a caucus, our guiding principle is that the retail price of energy should be a key consideration in evaluating legislation. We are committed to doing what is best for the energy consuming public as a whole.”
Reps. Reilly and Glenn have discussed their concerns that the Michigan Public Service Commission is considering a requirement that electricity choice providers who compete with the state’s two electricity monopolies — Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison — prove they can supply their customers using only higher-priced electricity generated in Michigan. Such a move would take tens of millions of dollars out of public school classrooms each year to pay for higher electricity costs, Glenn said, and make Michigan’s business climate less attractive and competitive for new businesses and jobs. Glenn said the MPSC proposal would go against the intent of state law.
Rep. Reilly has requested legislation to stop the MPSC from implementing such a measure.
Reps. Reilly, Glenn and Robinson all are among the founding members of the Affordable Energy Caucus. Others are Republican Reps. Tom Barrett of Potterville, Triston Cole of Mancelona, Shane Hernandez of Port Huron, Gary Howell of North Branch, Steve Johnson of Wayland, Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain, Peter Lucido of Shelby Township, Jim Runestad of White Lake and Jim Tedder of Clarkston.
“The economic impact of Michigan’s energy policy cannot be overstated,” Reilly said. “It affects all aspects of our lives. The cost of energy is reflected in the price of everything we buy, in the taxes we pay, and of course, in our residential utility bills.”