Heavy-handed policies also strip local control of wind, solar projects
State Rep. Ann Bollin tonight voted against a partisan plan to radically alter Michigan’s energy policy, voicing concerns that the new mandates will burden Michigan families with electricity that is more expensive and less reliable.
Bollin, R-Brighton Township, said the plan calls 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 which resulted in rate hikes and frequent blackouts.
“The energy costs in Michigan are already crippling, and these mandates are going to make the problem worse,” Bollin said. “Michigan power companies are already starting to incorporate new technology and cleaner sources. Forcing them to transition to wind and solar too quickly will likely leave Michigan households in the dark. California has already gone down this road, and now they’re scrambling to deal with rolling blackouts and brownouts. It’s too bad we couldn’t learn from their mistakes.”
A forthcoming study projects that monthly electric bills could go up by more than $100 on average under the legislation, and California, which adopted similar mandates in 2018, has seen rate increases dramatically outpace national increases. California has also started to backtrack on its energy mandates after blackouts and brownouts.
Other measures Bollin voted against would strip control away from local communities concerning the construction of large-scale solar and wind energy projects. Under House Bill 5120-5121, the Michigan Public Service Commission could force the projects on local communities with little regard for residents’ concerns, long-established zoning ordinances or affordability, and people would have no ability to hold the unelected commission members accountable.
“Our local leaders have a deep understanding of what’s best for their community and their local land,” Bollin said. “Forcing wind and solar projects on them without their input disregards their wisdom and experience.”
Each of the bills was ultimately approved by the House along party lines.
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