Michigan House Republicans
Rep. BeGole stands up for Michigan residents amidst radical energy plans
RELEASE|September 14, 2023
Contact: Brian BeGole

Legislator: Plans will create massive cost increases for less reliable power

State Rep. Brian BeGole today joined fellow Republican legislators to push back against a radical Democrat green energy plan that will raise costs for families, worsen grid reliability issues and strip away local input on future projects in their communities.

In her recent “What’s Next” address, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pushed for accelerated timelines to make Michigan energy production carbon-free. House Bills 4759-61 currently in the Legislature would require a 100% renewable and mostly carbon-free standard in Michigan by 2035. Senate Democrats have discussed similar legislation pushing for the costly mandates.

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, shutting down most of Michigan’s existing power plants. Based on the Mackinac Center’s projections, the average monthly electricity bill from now until 2050 would be nearly double the current monthly average.

“People are already paying far too much for a grid that isn’t reliable,” said BeGole, of Antrim Township, “Their rates will go up substantially if Democrats continue with this plan. I’m not against having clean energy to balance our grid and using advancements in technology. There’s certainly a place for this type of energy production in Michigan’s future and the state is already moving in this direction. But these shifts should be done with common-sense and effectiveness in mind, along with respect to what people in communities across Michigan want. These bills don’t take any of that into account. They simply use government as a hammer to pound this mandate onto people who are already struggling to make ends meet.”

BeGole pointed to California backing away from its overly ambitious green energy targets – including mandating carbon-free electricity by 2045 – after dealing with brownouts and rolling blackouts in the past. Wildfire smoke and cloud cover also disrupted solar capacity and caused grid reliability issues. As residents’ electricity rates soar, the state is scrambling to undo their reckless actions by reversing course and allowing several natural gas plants and their last remaining nuclear power plant to stay open.

“If this policy is too extreme for California, why is it right for Michigan?” BeGole said. “A proposal similar to what we’re seeing today was already on the statewide ballot in 2012. It was soundly voted down despite having a lower renewable target, an actual cap on rate increases and still allowing natural gas and nuclear power to be used.

“People spoke loud and clear that this was too aggressive of a plan for Michigan. This version is even more extreme, and it will cost people more money while making our state more reliant on China since they are a major producer of these green energy materials.”

To accelerate the carbon-free standard, the plans would shift the power to permit major solar projects from municipalities to state government – a move BeGole called extremely dangerous.

“These plans would crush local control and limit the important roles of local officials,” BeGole said. “This permitting change is in these bills because they know these proposals aren’t popular in many areas and people don’t want large-scale solar farm arrays and windmills in their backyards. That isn’t the way to govern, and I will be pushing for more effective ways forward.”

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