The MIRA recently joined the Clean Affordable Renewable Energy (CARE) for Michigan Coalition to fight a reckless ballot proposal that would inject a radical new renewable energy standard into the state constitution.
The ballot proposal would require Michigan to produce 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydro, and biomass by 2025 – regardless of the cost to Michigan families and businesses. Energy experts say it would cost Michigan at least $12 billion to implement, depending on which renewable sources are used. Obviously, enormous costs like that will hurt families and businesses, and likely halt Michigan’s economic turnaround.
Supporters of the proposal promise a 1 percent cap on electric rate increases, but that’s no guarantee. Legal experts say courts could strike down the so-called cap, which would likely result in steep increases in electric bills.
The best way to develop and expand renewable energy in Michigan is through the marketplace, not by amending the state constitution. This proposal would drastically change the state constitution to inject an arbitrary 25 percent renewable energy standard into a document that is designed to guarantee basic rights, not set energy policy. Simply mandating a higher percentage will not increase the state’s progress in creating renewable energy. In fact, no other state in the country has hijacked its constitution with renewable energy policy.
MIRA is joining the CARE for Michigan Coalition for all those reasons and more – we care about Michigan.
The diverse coalition – including the Michigan Chamber and the Detroit Regional Chamber, as well as labor, agriculture, Michigan energy providers, citizen groups and local officials – supports renewable energy. But CARE coalition members want Michigan to stay on track with its current, reasonable 10 percent renewable standard.
That goal was approved by the Michigan Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2008 after more than two years of study and debate. Ballot proposal supporters know their reckless 25 percent standard would never make it through that kind of deliberative process, so they’re trying to do an end run by getting voters to change the state constitution instead.
Michigan’s current, reasonable renewable standard requires energy providers to generate 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015. Michigan utilities are making good progress toward that challenging but realistic goal, investing billions in renewable energy projects across the state.
The CARE for Michigan Coalition is fighting to make sure that progress continues and that Michigan families and businesses have reliable, clean, affordable energy for generations to come.
MIRA is proud to be a part of that battle. We urge our members to vote NO on the 25 percent renewable energy proposal. For more information visit www.CAREforMich.com