Rep. Fink delivers a speech on the House floor urging his colleagues to vote no on proposed energy mandates.
Rep. Fink expressed his vehement opposition to the Green New Deal that the House Democrat majority approved this week.
“Rushing headlong into solar and wind energy dependence will be costly – and Michigan residents are the ones who will foot the bill,” Fink said. “Further, it will make our grid even less reliable across Michigan. The power outages we have experienced in our rural areas in recent years will only get worse. Essentially, you’ll be paying more but getting less.
“Local leaders in counties like Branch, Hillsdale, and Lenawee do not want this plan in place, and I’ve made that clear to the majority in Lansing. But by advancing this plan, they are showing they do not care about the communities where these facilities will actually be built. They’re moving forward with their plan and squashing local control of rural land use in the process.”
Senate Bill 271 exponentially increases the state’s existing renewable energy standard that was laid out in a bipartisan plan in 2016. Currently, the energy standard is set at 15%, but the partisan plan approved today would increase the standard more and more over the coming years, ultimately spiking it to 60% by 2033.
Additionally, the bill requires providers to meet a new clean energy standard of 80% by 2035 and 100% by 2040.
The plan’s timeline is unrealistic and will be costly to achieve, leading to significantly increased energy costs for Michigan families and job providers. One study estimates a 96% increase in consumer rates and a 142% increase in commercial rates under the Democrats’ proposed timeline.
“The people of Michigan are already suffering at the hands of inflation,” Fink said. “No one wants their electricity bills to increase, but the Democrat’s rushed plan is going to do exactly that, and decrease reliability to boot.”
Michigan’s two largest utilities, DTE and Consumers Energy, have already set goals to achieve net zero carbon emissions without government mandates. Consumers Energy set its goal to 2040, and DTE to 2050. Consumers Energy plans to shut down all coal-fired plants by 2025, while DTE plans to close its last coal plant in 2032.
Fink said a better plan would be to supplement existing natural gas plants with new nuclear power plants, which would be far less expensive than the current proposal whiles still decreasing pollution with greater reliability.
Experts estimate that an entirely carbon-free grid powered by wind and solar will see blackouts of up to 61 hours in the winter when sunlight and winds are low.
“I learned so many important lessons from my time in the Marine Corps that I carry with me to this day,” said Fink, a Marine Corps veteran. “Today and every day, we should honor the veterans who helped maintain the free and safe country we enjoy every day.”
“I’m pleased to see Democrats have come to their senses and pulled this bill off the committee docket. There’s no need for additional Court of Appeals judges in Michigan. The number of case filings has not increased, and our current judges are more than capable of handling existing cases. This was a clear attempt to pack our courts with Democrat influence and manipulate judgeships to the detriment of our justice system.”
“Transparency and accountability to the people are crucial parts of our system of government,” said Fink. “We must have systems in place to hold legislators accountable when conflicts of interest arise.”
“Legislators have a duty to work on behalf of the people of Michigan in obedience to our oaths of office and a certain code of ethics,” Fink said. “When concerns are raised about a legislator’s ethical behaviors, they should be open to a comprehensive look into their actions. Those who have nothing to hide would not shirk such transparency measures.”