Michigan House Republicans
OPINION: Democrats’ energy proposal would have far and long-reaching consequences
RELEASE|September 29, 2023

The following column appeared in the Midland Daily News on Sept. 1:

As the Michigan House and Senate gear up for the fall legislative session, the politicians in control seem to be primed and ready to push through Michigan’s own version of the disastrous Green New Deal proposed by the extreme left side of the Democratic Party in Washington.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her allies in the House and Senate Democratic caucuses have introduced House Bills 4759-4761 that mandate Michigan attain a 100% carbon-free energy portfolio by 2035.

On the surface, that might seem like a nice goal to move us toward a cleaner future. The reality is much harsher.  

Let’s look at the potential consequences this unrealistic proposal could unleash. 

Our most reliable energy source, natural gas, would no longer be on the table for Michiganders. Investment in nuclear energy would stop and any further nuclear energy development would be put on hold.

Such a reckless move would create a void in our energy supply, leading to energy shortages and rolling blackouts that could cripple our economy and disrupt our daily lives. Here in Mid-Michigan, this could have dire consequences for many of our large job creators and small businesses that form the bedrock of our local economy. Limiting the mix of energy sources for industry could result in failing to provide a stable baseload power source for the engine of our economy – leaving us all on empty.  

The disregard for the livelihoods of those employed in the energy sector is equally alarming. 

The energy sector employs thousands of hardworking Michiganders who rely on these jobs to support their families and communities.  

From power plant workers to technicians and engineers, these individuals dedicate their careers to ensuring our lights stay on and our homes remain comfortable. By forcing the abrupt abandonment of tried-and-true energy sources, this legislation would send these hardworking men and women straight to the unemployment line. It’s astonishing that such drastic measures are being considered without adequate plans for job retention and transition support. 

While proponents of this legislation pat themselves on the back for their environmentalism, they’re conveniently ignoring the very real burden it will place on the shoulders of our families and businesses. Michigan already faces higher electric rates compared to our neighbors in the Midwest – and these bills are likely to drive those rates even higher.  

Families and businesses are already stretched thin with gas and milk prices rising. The last thing Michiganders need is a policy that hikes up our energy bills. 

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this is the blatant disregard for bipartisanship. Energy policy affects everyone, and the work that goes into crafting it should transcend party lines. Leaving nearly half of the Legislature out of the conversation undermines the careful consideration and balanced solutions that our state desperately needs.  

Margins in both our State House and State Senate are slim and many Democrats were elected on a promise to govern in the middle. This energy package abandons that approach and caters to the far left. 

The desire to embrace cleaner energy sources is admirable, but it must be approached with a sense of realism and responsibility. House Bills 4759-4761 fail to strike this balance.  

It’s time to abandon this extreme energy agenda and get to work on policies that are rooted in reality, not wishful thinking. 

Michigan House Republicans

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