House should pull plug on bad energy package

Last week, the Michigan Senate voted to subject Michigan ratepayers to an Obama/Granholm vision of energy policy that strengthens monopolies and increases government mandates while strangling customer choice and competition. Coming just two days after Donald Trump shocked the world with his victory over Hillary Clinton, their vote to approve Senate Bills 437 and 438 were a tone-deaf response to voters who loudly voiced their opposition to insider establishment deals that put government interests ahead of the people. Voters are tired of business as usual by their elected leaders and will surely be ready to repeat this message in 2018 for those who didn’t get it the first time.

To put it bluntly, Senate Bills 437 and 438 are crony capitalism at its worst. Despite continued claims by the monopoly utilities and their allies, these bills do NOT protect the 10% electric choice marketplace. They are designed to kill it. If the CEOs of Coke and Pepsi came to you and said that the legislation they’ve spent millions of dollars promoting and lobbying for would continue to protect Faygo’s ability to compete in the soda market, but Faygo’s representative came to you and said “well, actually this will put us out of business,” who are you going to believe?

Senate Bills 437 and 438:

  • Kill electric choice. There are no fewer than 4 new, complicated processes in the latest version of the bills designed specifically to end electric competition.
  • Will raise rates on Michiganders – by billions.
  • Will immediately cost Michigan schools $23.5 million a year in lost energy savings.
  • Jumps the gun on President-elect Donald Trump’s pro-coal energy policy, imposing an Obama-era, big government solution to a problem that does not even exist.
  • Impose massive new renewable energy mandates that far exceed even the mandates championed by former Governor Jennifer Granholm – and long opposed by legislative Republicans.

We strongly urge you to demand that House leadership pull the plug on this disastrous policy, give the Trump Administration time to evaluate and reshape federal energy policy, and come back to the table in 2017 with a solution that protects competition, protects our public schools, and protects Michigan ratepayers – not one that merely improves the profit margin for two monopoly utilities.

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