House Republican Leader Matt Hall, R-Richland Township, speaks at a press conference against Democrats’ radical energy mandate proposal on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023.
House Republican Leader Matt Hall on Thursday advocated for Michigan residents against a radical energy mandate proposed by Democrats that would destabilize Michigan’s power supply and cause electricity rates to rise.
Hall, R-Richland Township, called out Democrats as they push legislation to require 100% carbon-free electricity generation on an extreme, unrealistic timeline. House Bills 4759-4761, sponsored by a majority of House Democrats, would mandate the radical overhaul by 2035. Senate Democrats are set to take up similar legislation in a committee hearing later Thursday.
“Democrats are throwing out local control to force solar panels all over our small towns and windmills all over our farmland, and they’re doing it just to make a few activists happy,” Hall said. “The people I talk to are concerned about recent power outages, and they’re concerned about their monthly bills. The Democrat plan does nothing to solve those problems. It would actually make our grid even less reliable by shifting to weather-dependent wind and solar — with technology produced in coal-powered factories in China. This foolish mandate will be expensive to implement, and Michigan residents and businesses will bear the burden. Families will pay more to keep the lights on, and factories may cut shifts or close because of high power costs — all while blackouts hit more often. Instead of sacrificing our grid and putting families in the dark to make a political statement, let’s focus on delivering affordable, reliable electricity to the people of our state.”
The costly mandates would shut down natural gas power plants prematurely and shift to less reliable wind and solar — even though solar technology is predominantly manufactured in China, which permitted two new coal power plants per week in 2022. The dramatic, hasty changes would inevitably lead to higher electricity costs to pay for technology and infrastructure.
A soon-to-be published study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy showed a dramatic increase in energy costs if the Democrats pass the carbon-free mandate. Based on the Mackinac Center’s projections, the average monthly electricity bill from now until 2050 would be nearly double the current monthly average.
California, which mandated carbon-free electricity by 2045, has experienced rolling blackouts in recent years while electricity rates have skyrocketed, far outpacing national increases. California has recently begun giving waivers and exemptions to their mandate to combat the blackout crisis.
Democrats have also announced forthcoming legislation that would allow the unelected Michigan Public Service Commission to take permitting decisions for energy construction away from local communities. The carbon-free mandates would require thousands of square miles of land for wind and solar. For example, if 100% of Michigan electricity were produced by solar, the necessary solar farms would cover the area of Kalamazoo County three times over. Democrats plan to take away local control over where the installations are placed.
“As Michigan struggles to grow, the governor just wants to slap a Band-Aid on our economy while ignoring the deep-seated problems that Democrat policies have exacerbated,” Hall said. “Our state needs to strengthen our economy by lowering our taxes and fostering a fair, reasonable regulatory environment that makes sense for Michigan workers and small businesses.”
“Speaker Tate still refuses to admit that the House is in shared power, but he’s feeling its effects as House Republicans rack up wins each time Democrats move our way. But even as Republicans secure victories, Democrats are blocking progress on the pressing issues facing Michiganders.”