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Gov. Whitmer’s Budget Outlines Clean Energy Priorities

Published on February 7, 2024

MPSC clean energy implementation, weatherization, clean mobility amongst highlights

Lansing, Mich. – As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer laid out her state budget priorities today, a diverse coalition of nonprofit organizations advocated for the inclusion of funding for the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to implement the 100% clean energy standard by 2040, along with investments in home energy efficiency and clean vehicle fleets and urged the Legislature to support them.

As Michigan is now a national leader in clean energy, the groups said funding for the MPSC  is key in implementing the new laws.

“The Michigan Public Service Commission is positioned to advance energy justice and affordability by holding the utilities accountable in reaching the 100% clean energy standard,” said John Freeman, executive director of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association. “Fully funding the commission will ensure Michigan retains its position as a national leader while helping to address the reliability of our grid so Michigan families and small businesses are finally free from paying the highest electric rates in the Midwest for poor service. We appreciate Gov. Whitmer for including this funding in her budget proposal.”

The governor’s budget also lays out ways Michigan can take full advantage of federal funding available for energy efficiency and renewable energy through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). 

This includes $1.4 billion to build or rehabilitate almost 10,000 homes across Michigan so there is more affordable and energy efficient housing available. 

“The majority of Michigan’s housing lacks energy efficient upgrades and insulation that would truly help residents save money every month,” said Alexis Bizman, legislative and policy director for the Ecology Center. “Investing in whole-home retrofits will improve our housing stock and allow people to live in safer and more comfortable homes. The governor’s inclusion of $1.4 billion for this type of work is vital to our state.”   

In her budget presentation, the governor called on the Legislature to provide support for a number of Clean Mobility initiatives, including those for electric vehicles and EV charging infrastructure. 

“Gov. Whitmer has been a strong supporter of our Clean Mobility sector, and her proposed vehicle purchase rebates, Clean Fleet, and EV charging infrastructure programs would continue to benefit Michigan’s economy, environment and our residents health in the transition to electric vehicles and cleaner transportation,” said Jane McCurry, executive director of Clean Fuels Michigan. “Clean mobility is critical to the future of Michigan, which is why it’s great to see more than $100 million included in this year’s budget proposal. We urge lawmakers to support these provisions as they finalize the budget in the coming months, and look forward to further refining the proposals to ensure they maximize environmental benefits and help those most in need.”

The groups plan to work with legislators and policymakers and ask them to provide more robust funding for local public transit, which the governor’s budget did not include. 

“The Growing Michigan Together report and MI Healthy Climate Plan both said expanding transit is essential. We’re disappointed that the Governor’s budget doesn’t provide the increased transit investments Michigan needs,” said Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United. “We are working with the newly-formed Transit Legislative Caucus and other lawmakers to ensure local public transit gets the support it deserves so all Michiganders can get to work, doctors, grocery stores, and elsewhere, even if they don’t drive.”