Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Alexander: State takeover of local zoning continues radical Democrat agenda
RELEASE|October 11, 2023

State Rep. Greg Alexander, of Carsonville, today reaffirmed his support for local control when zoning key projects, as Democrats push ahead with radical energy mandates that will have wide-ranging impacts for rural communities and residents. 

The House Energy, Communications and Technology Committee on Wednesday held a hearing on House Bills 5120-23, which were introduced just yesterday. The legislation would give the unelected Michigan Public Service Commission the authority to permit large solar and wind construction, diminishing local input and the roles of local elected officials.

“Many times, we look to government to solve our problems when it’s the government that is causing them in the first place with impractical mandates and costly subsidies,” Alexander said. “These bills use bureaucracy to bully our communities, and that’s not the right approach. If the state is this hyper-focused on this type of energy push, it should lead by example and put renewable projects on state property and not force it onto communities, residents and agricultural lands.”

The plans are part of larger efforts by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative Democrats to install arbitrary carbon-free electricity standards throughout Michigan. This would involve prematurely shutting down current power plants and shifting to less reliable energy like wind and solar. House Bills 4759-4761 would force Michigan electric companies to use entirely carbon-free power sources by 2035.

“The proposed standard is unattainable and it will raise costs and questions about reliability,” Alexander said. “People across Michigan have voiced opposition to these efforts and, in many cases, local boards and commissions have denied construction plans for projects after listening to concerns from people they represent. Voters in numerous areas have also soundly rejected ballot proposals that would place these types of projects and ultimately give locals less of a say.”

Alexander pointed to the need for a more targeted, practical approach for siting, instead of wide-scale land overhauls to fit a radical agenda. While serving as the Utility and Community Development Director for the city of Croswell, Alexander oversaw a project that turned an old lagoon that was not being used into a solar farm.

While serving as Drain Commissioner in Sanilac County for 12 years prior to serving in the Legislature, Alexander said he dealt with lawsuits stemming from wind and solar projects, as well as permitting and right-of-way issues.

“This is a huge issue in communities across our area,” Alexander said. “To take away input from these communities and have a three-member board of governor appointees calling the shots is utterly ridiculous. These bills constitute a huge upheaval for rural communities and the ramifications will be significant.”

HBs 5120-23 remain under consideration in the House Energy, Communications and Technology Committee.

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