State Rep. Graham Filler today voiced opposition to new legislation that would strip control away from local communities concerning the construction of large-scale solar and wind energy projects.
House Bill 5120-5123, introduced by a group of House Democrats on Tuesday, would give the unelected Michigan Public Service Commission the authority to permit large solar and wind construction, taking control away from local governments. The three-member board is made of governor appointees, and the governor is publicly supporting a plan to add thousands of square miles of new wind and solar farms in rural communities.
“Local people know what makes sense for the environment in their community,” said Filler, R-Clinton County. “This plan allows the state to force projects on neighborhoods regardless of how the people who live there feel. It’s wrong. I stand with people I represent who deserve a voice in the process.”
Filler noted that the district he represents includes one county that has welcomed renewable energy projects and another where wind and solar construction has been widely rejected.
Under House Bill 5120-5123, the MPSC could force the projects on local communities with little regard for residents’ concerns, and the community would have no ability to hold the unelected commission members accountable.
House Democrats previously introduced House Bills 4759-4761, which would force Michigan electric companies to use entirely carbon-free power sources by 2035, prematurely closing natural gas plants and driving the cost of electricity through the roof.
“Steamrolling rural communities who don’t think massive wind and solar projects are appropriate is insanity,” Filler said. “Local communities make decisions about zoning every day. They know what’s best.”
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