** UPDATE (12/11/15): Thanks to very strong pushback, including from Groundwork and some of our supporters, these bills have yet to receive a vote in the House.
All the fussin’ and fightin’ over Michigan’s energy future hits a crucial round today or Wednesday: The state House votes on two lousy energy bills, HB 4297 and HB 4298. So it’s time to give your state rep a well-informed earful about clean energy.
House Democrats were able to slightly improve these twin attacks on renewables and efficiency by inserting unenforceable clean energy “goals” into them. But they only amounts to polite suggestions.
“Please,” the legislation now says to monopoly utilities, “if you don’t mind, would you get to 30 percent renewables and efficiency sometime in the next 15 years?”
That’s pretty weak: Some states are raising renewable and efficiency standards (a/k/a ‘requirements’ or ‘mandates,’ not ‘suggestions’) to 30, 40, or even 50 percent by 2030, priming their clean energy industries to explode while stabilizing utility bills and carbon footprints. That should happen here, too, don’tchya think?
It’s time to either make HB 4297 and HB 4298 way better, or sink ‘em. “Way better” means setting enforceable renewables and efficiency goals and ooching them to 40 percent.
So…find your state representative’s contact info here, and email ‘em. Urge them to require all Michigan utilities to get to 40 percent renewables and efficiency by 2025. (That’s no cow pie in the sky; it merely maintains our current pace for adding renewables, and increases annual efficiency gains from 1 percent to 1.6 percent.) And if HB 4278 or 4279 don’t require more RE and EE, urge them to vote NO.
You might remind your rep that even state conservatives’ own surveys show clean energy has strong, bi-partisan support in the real world…i.e., the Michigan outside of Lansing. And point them to this great new report on the size of Michigan’s clean energy manufacturing economy.
This vote’s a biggie—the first floor action on clean energy in Lansing in years. Voting it down if it’s not right for our economy and ecology will send a strong message to lawmakers: Ignore utility and fossil fuel industry money and get in step with the times and your constituents!
Please help out if you can. THANKS!
Jim Dulzo is the senior energy policy specialist for the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.