Clean energy bills received pushback by Michigan businesses

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LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – A package of clean energy bills was approved by the Michigan Senate last week and is headed to the House. But that forward momentum is being met with pushback from business groups warning that the new legislation could have a significant impact on their bottom lines. 

“These bills taken together are job killers; they’re economic development killers,” said Mike Alaimo, the director of environmental and energy affairs for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “They’ll put our state back potentially decades because we’ve hamstrung ourselves to a few types of technologies.”

The three bills would require companies to make 100% of their energy through renewables by 2040, increase Michigan’s energy waste reduction program, and empower the Michigan Public Service Commission to consider equity and environmental justice when addressing energy companies’ future operations. 

“It’s ultimately the Michigan energy customer that’s left holding the bag and, and so, even if residential ratepayers are in some way protected, you’re still going to see costs go up because as we all know, businesses, as they see costs rise, they pass those costs through,” Alaimo said. 

Courtney Bourgoin with Evergreen Action says she sees this legislation saving money for businesses and consumers because of grants within President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. 

“Having these policies in place, showing that Michigan is intending to do more on climate change and reduce energy costs and create jobs and communities, will make them more competitive for those applications,” she said. 

Bourgoin said the package of bills and other clean energy bills working their way through the legislature will increase reliability. 

“There is a big energy storage target in here, which would basically create backup power and ways to use that wind and solar energy when it’s not online and operating. So we would see improved reliability in that way,” she said. 

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