This week the Michigan Senate passed a comprehensive energy bill that is harmful for businesses and consumers. The intention of the bill is good; we love our environment and we should cherish our environment but this bill does nothing to reasonably accomplish this objective.
First, The Free Press has reported that the bill, “also would set a new renewable energy standard for Michigan utilities — 15% by 2021, up from 10% currently.” They also quoted State Senator Mike Nofs as stating, “nobody is getting 100% of what they want, but we have crafted a policy that balances a broad and wide range of interests. It keeps us in control of our own energy future.”
But the 15% renewable energy threshold contains no guarantees for our economy. Renewable energy in its current state is not cost-efficient, we believe it can one day become cost efficient, but as of now this isn’t the case. A 15% renewable energy standard will cost citizens and businesses more money, an expenditure that we cannot afford. Before focusing on the environment, we should focus on helping our businesses and citizens through innovative tax and regulatory reforms.
The most troubling aspect of the energy bill isn’t even the 15% renewable energy standard. The Center for Michigan reports that the new bill contains a 10% cap on electricity competition. Simply stated, 90% of our electrical consumption must come from DTE and Consumers Energy. It is absurd that the government forces 90% of Michigan households to “choose” between only 2 energy companies.
If we want the cost of energy to lower in Michigan, we must allow for people to shop around for the cheapest option. It’s the same theory as allowing people to shop for healthcare. If we shop around, there will be more competition and in result, lowered costs for the consumers.
It only makes sense to treat Michigan families like adults. Allow adults to shop around and make the choices that are best for their families, and not for big businesses.