Clean Energy Climate Package a Win for Michiganders, Groups Say in Applauding Bill Introduction in House

Published on June 16, 2023

Released June 14, 2023

LANSING – A bill package that would address climate change and move Michigan toward more clean, renewable energy was introduced in the House today and applauded by several organizations. 

“Energy affordability, reliability and resilience is a kitchen table issue for Michiganders, which is why we’re pleased to see the House introduce a package of bills today,” said Alexis Blizman, policy director for the Ecology Center. “Creating a 100% carbon-free electricity standard by 2035, expanding energy conservation and empowering the Michigan Public Service Commission to regulate and hold big utilities accountable for equity, health, affordability and climate impacts is the solution Michigan needs to ending our addiction to the dirty coal and gas that has fueled climate change and hit us with the highest electric rates for the worst service in the Midwest.”

The bills introduced today are: House Bill 4759, House Bill 4760 and House Bill 4761. Groups look forward to supporting Rep. Helena Scott’s Energy Reliability, Resilience & Accountability Task Force by attending and advocating for these bills. The task force’s listening sessions will educate citizens about the proposed legislation and allow lawmakers to hear from groups about how communities have and will be impacted by climate change. 

“Michigan faces a critical turning point in its climate change fight, and legislation in the House and Senate are critical to changing the status quo,” said Charlotte Jameson, chief policy officer for the Michigan Environmental Council. “The bills address pressing issues and will really make a difference in the lives of Michigan residents. Public health will improve, clean energy jobs will grow, and greenhouse gas pollution will be slashed.”

“We want to thank leaders in the House for introducing this important bill package today to help address energy reliability and affordability and open the doors for more energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy in Michigan,” said Martin Kushler, senior fellow with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “With bills in both chambers of the Michigan Legislature, Democrats are poised to make significant progress implementing and exceeding the governor’s MI Healthy Climate Plan and ensuring a clean energy future for all.”

“Poor air quality from the Canadian wildfires is just one example of how the climate crisis is impacting the health of Michigan residents today and it shines a light on the need to reduce emissions that drive the climate crisis as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Elizabeth (Lisa) Del Buono, president of Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action. “That is why practitioners from across the state applaud the House for introducing a companion suite of clean energy bills that complements those introduced in the Senate last month. When passed, these bills will save lives, save health care dollars, and improve the health of all Michigan residents."

Recent polling shows that 65% of voters support transitioning to 100% clean power by 2035, and 67% of voters support Governor Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan. This package of bills would deliver on the popular climate and clean energy policies Michiganders want, which the Governor has also stated is a top priority for this legislative session. Now it’s time to act,” said Courtney Bourgoin, senior Midwest policy and advocacy manager for Evergreen Action.

“Dirty energy sources pollute our air and water and exacerbate climate change. Michigan can’t wait for monopoly utilities like DTE to transition away from polluting energy sources like coal and natural gas at their own pace,” said Sean McBrearty, legislative and policy director for Clean Water Action. “These bills will spur a faster transition to clean, renewable energy which will ensure that we are doing our part to address the global climate crisis while protecting our water and providing reliable and affordable energy to Michigan residents. The Michigan Legislature should take up and pass these bills as quickly as possible.”

“Today we are heartened to see the Michigan Legislature taking meaningful steps to address the climate crisis and to advance clean energy opportunities across our state,” said Ashley Rudzinski, climate and environment program director for Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities. “By advancing this climate package, we can unleash the power of Michigan's innovation, hold our utilities accountable, and fuel a brighter, healthier, and more prosperous future for all Michiganders.”

“Clean energy means smaller energy bills and fewer outages,” said John Delurey, deputy programs director for Vote Solar. “Our analysis shows that a commitment to 100% clean energy with an emphasis on local solar and energy storage - a priority of these new bills - saves the average Michigan household $773 per year through 2050.”