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What You Need to Know: MI Senate Democratic Clean Energy Future Plan

Advocacy News  April 28, 2023

Last week, Michigan Senate Democrats introduced a number of bills that, according to legislative sponsors, would implement the MI Healthy Climate Plan and accelerate the state’s clean energy path. Here is a quick break down of the bills: 

  • SB 271 would mandate that 60% of the state’s energy come from renewable energy generation sources by 2030, with the mandate increasing to 100% renewable energy by 2035. It would simultaneously ban a variety of other electricity generation sources including biomass, landfill gas, co-generation, gasification, pyrolysis and municipal waste to fuel 
  • SB 272 would give expansive authority and purview of the Michigan Public Service Commission to include, “The impact of the plan on climate change, equity, reliability, affordability, cumulative health effects, and emissions in addition to carbon.” This would be a significant expansion of the MPSC’s authority.  
  • SB 273 would mandate at least 2% annual electric energy efficiency savings by increasing the current EWR target for electric utilities – and a minimum of 1.5% annual savings for natural gas utilities – maintaining the corresponding incentives for exceeding statutory minimums. It would also restore the energy waste reduction target for municipal and cooperative electric utilities.  
  • SB 274 would give sweeping new authorities to the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Department to promulgate new rules and building codes that would focus on decarbonizing commercial and residential buildings, construction methods and building materials. It also mandates a reduction of emissions related to heating Michigan homes and businesses 17% by 2030. 
  • SB 275 would create a Clean Fuel Standard where the carbon intensity of all transportation fuel produced or imported for use in this state shall be reduced to at least 25% below the 2019 baseline level, by the end of 2035. 
  • SB 276 would require the phasing out of coal-fired energy plants in the state by 2030. 
  • SB 277 would allow farmers to rent land for solar energy production while maintaining farmland preservation. 

While a clean energy future is vitally important and the Chamber is still closely reviewing the bill package and digging into the details, we have expressed initial concerns with the negative impacts these bills could have on affordability and reliability. Preliminary review points to many of these bills being unrealistic and posing significant economic burdens on the business community and unintended consequences for Michigan families and communities, particularly because the general approach is one of putting mandates in place but not the appropriate regulatory processes for how they can be achieved. The Chamber will stay on top of this bill package, work to include a robust stakeholder process and keep members informed.