March 5, 2015

House Republican Bill Package Proposes to Corrupt Michigan's Renewable Energy Standard

News from Progress Michigan

March 5, 2015

Bills would also repeal Energy Optimization standard despite documented cost savings

MICHIGAN – Today, Rep. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) introduced an eight-bill package that would undermine Michigan’s renewable energy standard by classifying incinerating hazardous waste as renewable energy and repeal the state’s energy optimization standards for both electric and natural gas utilities.

Rep. Nesbitt’s announcement comes after House and Senate Democrats voiced support to double the amount of electricity that utilities are required to produce from legitimate renewable energy sources, like wind and solar.

“Michigan’s renewable energy standards have been a great success in protecting public health, our Great Lakes, and our air. Utilities are on track to reach the current 10 percent renewable energy goal by the end of this year,” said Mike Berkowitz, legislative & political director at the Sierra Club. “Now is the time for our state elected officials to increase Michigan’s renewable energy standard, not undo the progress we’ve made by attempting to disguise pollution as clean energy.”

The proposal to repeal of the energy optimization standard contradicts both Governor Snyder’s stated support for eliminating energy waste and the outstanding success of the current measures in saving ratepayers money.

“This is a nonsensical proposal that will actually hurt Michigan’s utility customers by driving up the cost of energy bills,” said Jim Dulzo, senior energy policy specialist at the Michigan Land Use Institute. “Why anyone would think this is a good idea is hard to fathom.”

These bills are just another attempt by corporate polluters to maximize their own profits at the expense of Michiganders’ health, said Alexis Blizman, legislative & policy director at the Ecology Center. “Legislators should be prioritizing more investments in renewable energy like wind and solar that doesn’t create pollution and threaten public health, not siding with fossil fuel industries.”

“Michigan has a long history of renewable energy innovation and our representatives should continue to lead in developing clean, cutting edge renewable energy technology,” said Nic Clark, executive director of Michigan Clean Water Action.

Last month, a poll conducted by EPIC-MRA found that 60 percent of Michigan residents support increasing the state’s renewable energy standard.

The undersigned groups oppose this package of legislation:
Ecology Center, Michigan Clean Water Action, Sierra Club, Michigan Land Use Institute, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and Keweenaw Renewable Energy Coalition.