Utility pushed energy legislation is pure corporate cronyism

Freedom Fund executive director Tony Daunt was a guest on the Steve Gruber radio program. He and Steve discuss the current utility-pushed energy legislation.

DTE and Consumers Energy have been at the forefront of an unprecedented assault on Michigan ratepayers. Their scare tactics, corporate greed, and poor issue management are making it more difficult by the day for Michiganders to pay their electric bills.

Back in 2008, the big utilities used the legislature to lock-up 90 percent of the state’s electric sales.  Now they’re back in 2016 with SB 437 trying to eliminate the free market for the last 10 percent of customers (including hundreds of public schools) who shop around and save big on their electric bills.

According to the latest data from the United States Energy Information Agency (USEIA), since 2008: 

  • Consumers has raised residential rates by 42.8 percent.
  • DTE has raised residential rates by 44.5 percent.
  • Overall, Michigan’s electric rates are up 19.8 percent, more than double the U.S. average.
  • At the same time, our neighbors in Illinois – a state where customers are free to shop around for their electricity—have seen a .5 percent decrease in electric rates.

But wait, there’s more.

Since last November, long after the state legislature began discussions on SB 437, DTE and Consumers Energy have instituted or announced $878 million a year in new rate hikes. 

No wonder Republicans and Democrats, public schools and manufacturers, the AARP and chambers of commerce have rallied together to oppose the monopoly utilities’ scheme to take even more. 

It’s time Lansing stands up for ratepayers.  They should put the final nail in the coffin of this special interest monstrosity, and vote no on Senate Bill 437. 

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