MI Democrats Push for More and Local Renewables in New Energy Legislation Package

On Thursday, April 23, Michigan Democrats in the House and Senate introduced “Powering Michigan’s Future,” a package of bills which will double the amount of renewable energy used in the state and remove a controversial renewable energy surcharge currently in place.

Currently, Michigan energy companies are on track to meet the 10% minimum of renewable energy sources, established by the Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act (Public Act 295) on October 6, 2008, by the end of the year. (http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0%2c1607%2c7-159-16393---%2c00.html)

The new bills, HB 4518 and HB 4519 in the House and SB 295 and SB 297 in the Senate, also propose a phase-in period of seven years for the higher renewable portfolio standard of 20%. A separate bill, SB296, introduced to the Senate by Sen. David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights) would double the energy efficiency standard. (Gongwer: Dems Introduce Energy Legislation)

Our own Alexis Blizman, Ecology Center Policy Director, praises the legislation package in Clean Energy Now’s press release. (http://www.cleanenergynowmi.org/2015/04/bills-increase-michigans-renewab...)

“We’ve made great progress and we’re capable of much more. Increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard ensures that we will continue moving forward so that we can leave future generations a safe and healthy environment.”

To recap, the Democrat’s new energy plan “Powering Michigan’s Future” calls for a 10% increase by 2022 (10% to 20%), would eliminate the current renewable energy surcharge, and would double the energy efficiency standard currently in place.

Public Act 295 saw nearly $3 billion in new investments within the state, and supporters of the new bill package point out the potential for continued economic growth in addition to the public and environmental health benefits. (http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2015/04/23/michigan-democrats-propose-d...)