Energy Policy Debate Begins

April 13, 2015

Over the last several weeks, policymakers have engaged in substantial debate regarding what are the proper tenets for a revised statewide energy policy. The jumping off point for much of the discussions has been Governor Snyder’s special energy message, as well as legislative proposals put forth by Senate Energy Committee Chairman, Senator Mike Nofs, and House Energy Committee Chairman, Representative Aric Nesbitt. All three proposals have some commonalities, but there are certainly some stark differences when you delve into the details. 

Governor Snyder’s ideas center mainly on energy efficiency and investing in renewable energy while retaining much of the current law. Chairman Nesbitt is more focused on the regulatory structure; he wants to eliminate retail open access and return Michigan to a fully regulated utility system. He also proposes the elimination of our current energy efficiency program. Chairman Nofs is trying to develop strategies based upon our existing energy law to help comply with pending federal regulations.

Members of the Michigan Chamber’s Energy & Environment Committee have worked diligently over the last several weeks to identify the proper foundations of a forward thinking energy policy that will guide our membership through this complicated debate and position us to support a balanced approach to protecting Michigan’s energy future. The Chamber’s Energy and Environment Committee will be convening this Wednesday to finalize a policy recommendation to be forwarded the Board of Directors later this month. We will continue to actively participate in all stakeholder discussions and aggressively engage in the legislative process to ensure the best interests of Chamber members are represented.