clean energy wind and solar

Michigan House committee approves Clean Energy Future bills; takes major step toward increasing state’s renewable energy use

Coalition urgently calls on full House to vote on legislation

LANSING, Mich. – A coalition of groups praised the Michigan House Energy, Communications and Technology Committee for passing the Clean Energy Future bill package (Senate Bills 271, 273 and 502) and urged the full chamber to vote today.

The Clean Energy Future bill packages includes the coalition’s top priorities: 

  • Creating a 100% clean energy standard and including more renewable energy like wind and solar. 
  • Establishing policies that conserve energy because energy savings mean less pollution in our air and water and more savings for consumers. 
  • Empowering the Michigan Public Service Commission to regulate and hold big utilities accountable for advancing clean, renewable energy.

The legislation is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 82% from Michigan’s electricity sector and cumulatively avoid 364 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2040 compared to the status quo. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for action on clean energy in her fall “What’s Next Address” and the coalition has advocated for the strongest bills possible.

In addition, the coalition urged the House to pass bills 5120-5123 to streamline the permitting process for renewable energy, like wind and solar, and reduce red tape holding back clean, renewable energy projects across Michigan.

"We applaud the House committee members who voted to advance Michigan’s clean energy goals by passing the Clean Energy Future package, which will set a higher renewable energy standard than current utility plans and a requirement of 100% clean energy by 2040,” said Charlotte Jameson, Chief Policy Officer at Michigan Environmental Council. “This legislation will help ensure Michigan achieves its climate goals and will bring  important environmental, health, and economic benefits to our state. We encourage the full Michigan House to pass this legislation today.”

“To continue with the status quo is a disservice to people with chronic lung disease, including our children, who are triggered with asthma attacks because of the pollution in the air from burning dirty coal and gas,” said Dr. Lisa Del Buono, President & Founder of Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action. “While more needs to be done to protect the health of disproportionately impacted communities, these bills are a first step toward ensuring we have clean air to breathe and water to drink, reducing dangerous lung and heart disease and protecting the Great Lakes that we rely on for our economy, drinking water and way of life. It’s time for the House to pass these bills.”  

"Michigan's Black Tern faces population declines up to 99 percent over the past 54 years. Climate change is causing water levels to rise and storms to become more intense, which is further threatening the nests of this already vulnerable species," said Adam Forrer, Policy Director of Climate for Audubon Great Lakes. "Birds cannot wait for climate action and neither can people. The Clean Energy Future Package will get us on the path towards 100 percent carbon-free energy, which is needed to reduce emissions and protect birds and the places they need."

“This House committee vote is a crucial next step in helping both the environment and our state economy,” said Dr. Martin Kushler, Senior Fellow with the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. “Michigan has to import from other states and countries virtually all of the fossil fuels we consume, which drains over $18 billion a year from our state. By increasing energy efficiency and Michigan-based renewable energy, this package of bills will reduce that financial drain and help keep those dollars in Michigan. I urged the full House to move quickly and pass this important legislation.”

“The Clean Energy Future package provides for critical investments in energy waste reduction, especially for low income families,” said Alexis Blizman, Policy Director at the Ecology Center. “For the first time, we will see guaranteed investments in homes facing the highest energy burden, and these investments will include critical home repairs that will improve the health and comfort of these homes while reducing energy costs. These bills are an important first step, and the House should pass them.” 

Additional groups urging a vote in the House include: Evergreen Action, Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA), and Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America - Michigan Chapter.