Michigan House Republicans
Going Up
RELEASE|January 25, 2024

By: State Rep. Pauline Wendzel 

In early December, I wrote an op-ed titled “The First of Many” regarding the first rate case after Democrats passed their “clean energy” mandates at the end of the last legislative session.  That rate case was a $368 million increase in monthly utility bills for hardworking Michiganders.  As we’ve started 2024, a second increase request has been proposed – another $266 million in higher monthly gas bills. 

Before this disastrous legislation and the mandates that accompanied it have taken full effect, Michigan electric providers have already proposed $634 million in billing increases as they prepare to comply with this new legislation.   

This past week, we saw temperatures drop into negative territory with wind chill making it significantly colder.  Hell, Michigan literally froze over the night of the Lions playoff victory with temperatures around negative three degrees. Solar panels were buried in mountains of snow, wind turbines only contribute a fraction of Michigan’s energy needs, and battery storage is still decades away. Natural gas kept our homes heated and the lights on, but with the passage of Democrats new energy bill, this reliable and affordable fuel source has been priced out of the market.  With the new mandates attached to using natural gas, it’s no longer economically feasible for electric providers to choose natural gas over wind and solar despite it being a more reliable source of energy generation. The choice Michigan Democrats have presented our state is this: Either Michiganders can expect to pay hundreds of millions, if not billions more in energy costs to comply with the new law, or we can rely on solar and wind during the darkest and coldest days of the year.  

Rather than rush half-baked and dangerous policies to the floor, Republicans in the Legislature are developing a commonsense and comprehensive all the above energy strategy.  Decisions should be based on two key factors – reliability of the energy source and our grid and ensuring it’s affordable so hardworking Michigan families aren’t sinking more and more of their family budgets into utility bills.  

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be announcing the first piece of this package to address the reliability of our energy grid.  We’re going to solve the real problem facing our state – a faulty distribution grid. Being an election year and the House having an even 54-54 split, I’m hoping that commonsense prevails and legislators put Michigan families first ahead of out of state developers and dark money special interest groups.  It’s time to solve the problem, not kick the can down the road.

Michigan House Republicans

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