State Rep. Jay DeBoyer today voted against a partisan plan to radically alter Michigan’s energy policy, highlighting a targeted effort to centralize key energy decisions that will impact communities and residents.
Measures approved by House Democrats today would strip control away from local communities concerning the siting and construction of large-scale solar and wind energy projects. Under these plans, the unelected Michigan Public Service Commission could force the projects on local communities with little regard for residents’ concerns, and people would have no ability to hold the unelected commission members accountable.
“Many communities across our state have been clear with their voices and their votes that they do not want this type of development,” DeBoyer said. “Local leaders receive this input from residents and set ordinances and local permitting requirements in accordance with what their residents want. They take those priorities, concerns and local knowledge and use them to make policy decisions. To take away this local authority is wrong.
“If a community decides they want to go forward with siting these projects, they should absolutely be allowed to do that. But using government as a cudgel to force them onto communities is not the right approach and it sets a dangerous precedent.”
Other plans call for utilities to have 100% clean energy by 2040, with several other mandates that will also increase costs. The mandates are similar to those issued in California that resulted in rate hikes, an unreliable energy grid, and widespread blackouts.
A recent analysis published from the Mackinac Center disclosed that a net zero energy plan could cost Michigan rate payers upwards of $200 billion overall in additional energy costs.
“Energy providers are already moving in this direction,” DeBoyer said. “Government muscling in and trying to move this along faster will have significant consequences for families and small business owners. It will make energy less affordable and less reliable.”
Each of the bills were ultimately approved by the House along party lines. House Bills 5120 and 5121 now advance to the Senate for further consideration. Senate Bills 271, 273 and 502, the clean energy mandates, will soon be presented to the governor for her expected signature.
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