Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Schuette: Green energy mandates passed leave Michiganders in the dark
RELEASE|November 3, 2023

Late last night and early this morning, State Representative Bill G. Schuette voted against an extreme Democrat green energy plan that will make energy less affordable for families and small business owners, threaten grid reliability and expand government control over rural communities. 

“This is a bad deal for Michigan,” said Schuette, of Midland, when addressing the legislation on the House floor. “Nearly every family or small business I talk with in mid-Michigan is looking for ways to cut costs and make ends meet in our current economy. But Democrats are trying to ram through legislation that would pass literally billions of dollars of costs onto Michigan ratepayers.”

Plans advanced through the House late Thursday and early Friday call for utilities to have 100% clean energy by 2040, with several other mandates that will also increase costs.  A recent analysis published by the Mackinac Center disclosed that a net zero energy plan could cost Michigan rate payers upwards of $200 billion overall in additional energy costs.

Schuette weighed these massive hikes against the reported payoffs of the plans. Even favorable estimates suggest the advancing legislation may reduce global temperatures by less than one-one thousandth of a degree over the next century, and the non-partisan Citizens Research Council has declared that any efforts to mitigate climate change in Michigan are unlikely to have an effect.

Green energy mandates that were put on the books elsewhere are already experiencing setbacks. California is already backing away from its overly ambitious green energy targets – including mandating carbon-free electricity by 2045 – after dealing with brownouts and rolling blackouts. As residents’ electricity rates soar, the state is scrambling to undo their policies by allowing several natural gas plants and their last remaining nuclear power plant to stay open.

Schuette said as Michigan looks to grow its population and compete for jobs and residents, sending energy costs soaring will actively work against those efforts.

“By having an energy standard that is out of step with the rest of the country, we will destabilize the investment in nuclear, carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen energy sources that we need to compete and grow as a state,” Schuette said. “You can’t run an advanced manufacturing plant or a semi-conductor factor on wind and solar power. You can’t even run an electric vehicle manufacturing plant on wind and solar power. These bills will threaten the reliability and security of our power grid while we pour our state’s economic future down the drain.”

Other measures approved by House Democrats today would strip control away from local communities concerning the 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 in certain circumstances with little regard for residents’ concerns, and people would have no ability to hold the unelected commission members accountable.

Each of the bills were ultimately approved by the House along party lines. The legislation pertaining to siting, House Bills 5120 and 5121, now advance to the Senate for further consideration. Senate Bills 271, 273 and 502, which contain the clean energy mandates, will soon be presented to the governor for her expected signature.

PHOTO INFORMATION: State Representative Bill G. Schuette speaks in opposition to several green energy mandates before the Michigan House on Thursday, Nov. 2. The plans will create affordability and reliability issues pertaining to energy while limiting local authority on wind and solar project siting.

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