Michigan House Republicans
“Gentlemen, we have run out of money; now we have to think.”
RELEASE|August 14, 2023

By: State Rep. Pauline Wendzel

This week, Lansing Democrats and their allies in the environmental lobby held a press conference to promote their half-baked energy package.  Their legislation as written would mandate Michigan derive 100% of its energy generation from renewable sources by 2035, banning natural gas, propane, biomass, landfill gas, and other commonsense low- to no-carbon sources.  This package will harm not only rural communities like mine, which rely heavily on propane to heat our homes in the winter, it also puts Michigan’s entire energy future at risk.

The main reasoning behind rushing this package forward in secretive, closed-door meetings with no bipartisan input seems to be a desire to chase federal dollars.  These estimated dollars are merely a drop in the bucket of what would be needed to make their “Green Dream” a reality.

Michigan’s rural electric cooperatives alone, which make up approximately 10% of Michigan’s energy marketplace, are in the midst of a several-year, multi-billion-dollar infrastructure investment program that includes: electric generation, distribution and transmission along with fiber to the home buildouts throughout the Lower Peninsula. Michigan’s other electric providers are also planning billions more in upgrades. Federal programs can help cover a small portion of these investments, but in the end, Michigan consumers will cover the majority of these long-term infrastructure investments.

Winston Churchill once said, “Gentlemen, we have run out of money; now we have to think.”  As the Energy, Communications, and Technology Committee Republican Leader, my members and I believe it’s important that policy makers think before we run out of “free money” and saddle Michigan residents with the financial burden of implementing the “Green Dream” when they can least afford it.

Our goal is to be commonsense problem solvers.  Affordability, a diverse energy portfolio, and creating a more resilient grid are the most important aspects of a comprehensive energy policy. Unfortunately, none of our members have participated in or have been invited to any work groups – a far cry from the bipartisan 2016 energy package.  The 2016 process was open, transparent, and bipartisan despite Republicans holding a trifecta. When crafting legislation of this magnitude, it’s vitally important that every voice is heard.

Unfortunately, Democrats, cheered on by radical environmental activists, continue to march forward headstrong, wearing their partisan blinders. If they push forward without making serious changes to their bills, Michigan families will inevitably bear the brunt of the increased costs that will come their way. We can and must do better.

Michigan House Republicans

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