Michigan’s Energy Future, Public Forums

February 27, 2013

Governor Snyder is holding seven renewable energy forums. Attend to make your voice heard on the issue of energy policy in Michigan!

How Michigan proceeds with our energy market will have a significant impact on our state economy, families, and the state budget. The question is: Will Governor Snyder and lawmakers in Lansing decide to pursue a more market oriented approach or will they continue with the current restricted policy?

To answer this question, Governor Snyder and the Michigan Public Service Commission are hosting several public forums to gather information from citizens across the state. (See complete list below.)

In November, voters soundly rejected a constitutional mandate, “Proposal 3″ or “25X25,” that would have required 25 percent of our energy production come from select renewable sources by the year 2025. Currently, Michigan has a 10% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) mandate with talks of increasing it further.

The intermittency of wind and other renewable energy sources should be cause for concern for Michigan lawmakers and residents. Energy drives the economy and enables businesses to prosper. It powers the local grocery store that feeds us and the hospitals that care for the sick and newly born.

Due to the structure of the mandate, most of construction since 2008 has been filled with wind energy. The personal affects of this energy on those living near a windmill deserves serious attention. Cary Shineldecker’s home has been tortured by loud noises, pressure changes, shadow flicker, and ice throw. The entire process has been a nightmare for him and his family as shown in these comments and video below:

“My home used to be a place of sanctuary for my family, a safe place, where we could come home and rest and find peace. Now it is a place that creates anger and inspires disillusion in man and government.

“Many will become wealthy from this push for renewable energy, others will be collateral damage, accepted and ignored by the government and zoning laws that are suppose to be in place to protect them.” 

Michigan law also restricts competition in the energy market by caping the number of energy suppliers. This creates a state-sponsored monopoly and puts bureaucrats in charge of where we get our energy and who profits from it. Lawmakers should be embracing principles that reduce prices through increased competition, not capping energy suppliers.

A coalition of businesses, consumers, suppliers, trade associations, and other interested stakeholders called “Energy Choice Now,” which includes Americans for Prosperity-Michigan, feels that this cap creates a monopoly for Michigan’s two largest energy providers, restricts economic growth, and increases rates for consumers and businesses. Lawmakers should allow all companies to compete fairly with other energy sources, including renewable sources. However, funding renewable energy sources with tax dollars and providing special laws to benefit them is unacceptable and harms our economy.

Urge Governor Snyder and your state lawmakers to allow flexibility in meeting renewable standards and to consider elimination due to the increased cost of wind generated power on the poor, families, and businesses especially high-energy consumers like manufacturing. Michigan deserves a portfolio of energy that is independent of government subsidies and mandates that serves its residents, not politicians and lobbyists.

Coming Events

The public forums will be hosted by Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman John D. Quackenbush and Michigan Energy Office Director Steve Bakkal, whom the governor charged with co-chairing and overseeing the public input process.

Information gathered will assist public policymakers and the public as they take a comprehensive look at Michigan’s energy future.The seven Michigan Energy Public Forums will be held from 1:00-5:00PM on the following dates at the locations listed:

Thursday, February 14th
Library of Michigan
702 W. Kalamazoo Street
Lansing, MI  48909
Presentations Posted

Grand Rapids
Monday, February 25th
Grand Valley State University
Loosemoore Auditorium
401 Fulton St. West
Grand Rapids, MI  49504
Presentations Posted

University Center (Tri-Cities area)
Monday, March 4th
Delta College
Lecture Theater
1961 Delta Road
University Center, MI  48710

Monday, March 18th
Western Michigan University
Fetzer Center
Kirsch Auditorium
2350 Business Court
Kalamazoo, MI  49008

Monday, March 25th
461 Burroughs Street
Detroit, MI 48202

Friday, April 12th
Northern Michigan University
Don H. Bottum University Center
Brule & Cadillac Conference Rooms
1401 Presque Isle
Marquette, MI  49855

Traverse City
Monday, April 22nd
Northwestern Michigan College
Hagerty Conference Center
715 E. Front Street
Traverse City, MI  49686

The agenda for each event and speakers will be provided approximately two weeks before each session. There will be time reserved for interested members of the public to speak at the forums as well.

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