LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Dan Lauwers, R-Brockway Township, expressed his frustration after the Michigan Senate passed a number of proposals aimed at overhauling Michigan’s energy policy with overreaching green energy mandates:
“The bills we voted on today were not the bills voted out of committee yesterday and far from the bills introduced months ago. The final product put in front of us came from partisan deals made in the cover of night. For months there has been no transparency, no negotiating, nor time to read the bills as they were taken up for a vote before the ink even dried.
“These bills quickly made their way to the Senate floor, and unfortunately, the final product put in front of us reflected the lack of due diligence and even the simplest understanding of how energy works.
“The last two times the Legislature revisited and updated our energy policy, the approach included both parties with several months of hearings containing hours of testimony and dozens of publicly debated amendments.
“That’s because energy policy is complicated. The terms and processes are foreign to most, and the consequences of actions and decisions regarding our electrical grid can be impactful and long-lasting — and in the case of these bills, potentially irreversible.
“Unfortunately, this Democrat majority is more in a hurry to pass something rather than do the hard work necessary to enact real energy reforms that keep Michigan families warm and the lights on.
“During the first committee hearing, I asked bill sponsors if anyone has done the math on these proposals to see what costs will be or if they are even feasible — I received blank stares and no answers.
“The fact is we simply aren’t there yet with the methods of generation and storage technologies these bills are attempting to mandate.
“These ill-advised proposals will decrease reliability and increase rates. Increased costs mean higher rates for consumers. Plain and simple. One of the bill sponsors even admitted these bills will increase costs while other sponsors insist these bills will help lower them. Unfortunately, this discrepancy was not ironed out before jamming the bills through the Senate.
“These heavy-handed overhauls and the uncertainty that follows them also hinder business development in our state. Businesses don’t invest in uncertainty. Capital is a coward, and it runs from uncertainty. At a time when we are trying to grow our population and economy, these bills send the message that we don’t know what the future will hold. I think Ford halting further development in the Marshall plant was a direct result of these policies being pushed.
“This agenda-driven approach appears to be more focused on political ambitions than crafting sound energy policy that addresses the largest concerns about our existing grid.
“There are just too many questions about these bills that remain unaddressed, and I will not support a plan that leaves lawmakers, stakeholders and more importantly, Michigan residents who will be forced to bear the increased costs, with more questions than answers.”