Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a sequence of payments on Thursday that might transfer Michigan in direction of carbon neutrality whereas focusing on excessive power prices.
The payments embrace measures eradicating necessities that state environmental rules be no stricter than federal guidelines, axing a sundown clause on the Michigan Vitality Help Program (MEAP), increasing eligibility for companies to obtain clear power subsidies and slicing crimson tape for photo voltaic power developments and native governments.
Whitmer mentioned that the payments are a “step ahead” in fulfilling the targets of her administration’s MI Wholesome Local weather Plan.
“With these payments, we’ll assist extra communities unleash progressive clear power assets, present very important power help to assist households keep heat in winter, and create good-paying, high-skilled jobs proper right here in Michigan,” Whitmer mentioned. “I look ahead to working with the legislature this fall to cement Michigan as a nationwide chief on local weather and clear power jobs.”
Whereas a number of of the payments acquired bipartisan help, SB 14, which eliminated Michigan’s requirement that state environmental rules couldn’t be stricter than federal guidelines, acquired pushback from Republican management. Home Minority Chief Matt Corridor (R-Richland Twp.) mentioned in a press release that the brand new legislation “advances an agenda” that may be dangerous to companies.
“We needs to be centered on serving to individuals thrive whereas defending the well being and security of Michiganders, however left-wing environmentalists wish to cripple companies with over-the-top rules which might be fully pointless and burdensome,” Corridor mentioned. “Democrats have caved to 1 leftist political group after one other, and now they’re letting unelected bureaucrats tank our state’s financial system on the whim of environmental activists.”
The laws acquired statements of help from environmental teams, together with the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC), the Michigan Vitality Innovation Enterprise Council (MEIBC) and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. MEC Chief Coverage Officer Charlotte Jameson mentioned that the passage of the payments represented a brand new starting in increasing Michigan’s clear power financial system.
“These insurance policies take the primary steps in direction of combating local weather change and saving Michiganders cash on their utility payments,” Jameson mentioned. “However extra have to be accomplished. Now’s the time to get to work on laws that absolutely adopts the Governor’s MI Wholesome Local weather Plan.”
Lawmakers hoped that by sponsoring laws geared toward decreasing the prices of fresh power manufacturing in Michigan, extra corporations and households could be compelled to make use of it. Rep. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), who sponsored HB 4317, which permits photo voltaic corporations and native governments to choose into funds in lieu of taxes (PILT), mentioned that his invoice would assist small municipalities keep away from pricey litigation with clear power utilities.
“We stay in a state with a couple of large cities and plenty of, many native communities,” VanderWall mentioned. “Too typically these smaller cities and suburbs get ignored. There’s no motive we are able to’t deal with our smaller communities with as a lot consideration and care as our bigger cities. Now, we are able to take a step ahead in direction of a extra reasonably priced, brighter future for the whole state of Michigan.”
Whitmer unveils ‘game-changer’ local weather plan for carbon neutrality by 2050
Senate Payments 302 and 303, sponsored by Sens. Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton) and Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay Metropolis), are one other instance of laws geared toward relieving the monetary burden of offering clear power by increasing the scope of properties which might be eligible for Industrial Property Assessed Clear Vitality (C-PACE) funding.
“SB 302 will increase Michigan’s C-PACE market and improve the scope of tasks which might be capable of entry this essential supply of funding,” Camilleri mentioned. “By rising power effectivity, we are able to improve enterprise funding, cut back demand on our power grid, and decrease our carbon emissions all on the similar time.”
Laura Sherman, president of the MEIBC, mentioned that C-PACE has already introduced over $233 million of fresh power investments to Michigan companies and native governments, and that the bundle would assist advance the state’s clear power targets.
“These new legal guidelines roll out the welcome mat for extra clear, renewable power improvement in communities all through Michigan,” Sherman mentioned.
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