The state’s leading advocate for small-business owners, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), today announced its opposition to an effort by environmental groups to force Michigan’s electric providers to produce at least 30 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2030. A group calling itself “Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan” announced it is launching a petition drive to put the issue before voters this November.
“Small-business owners are wary of any policy that seeks to promote ‘green’ energy sources at the expense of rate-payers overall,” said NFIB State Director Charlie Owens. “Many of the renewable sources of power are not viable in the marketplace and only exist because of taxpayer or rate-payer subsidies.”
Owens cited the voter’s rejection of the 2012 “25 by 25” renewable energy ballot proposal as evidence that Michigan citizens are not supportive of forced quotas for green energy sources. That proposal, advanced by the state’s environmental groups, would have required that 25 percent of Michigan’s energy come from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass by 2025. Currently Michigan law requires that 15 percent of energy produced come from renewable sources by 2022.
Owens referred to a survey of NFIB members done in 2012 in response to the 2012 renewable energy ballot proposal. When asked: “Do you support a Constitutional requirement that 25% of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2025?” the result was 89 percent NO, 8 percent YES and 3 percent Undecided. The current ballot effort differs from the 2012 attempt in that it would initiate legislation, not create a constitutional amendment, but that doesn’t change anything as far as Owens is concerned.
“Small-business owners understand that when you subsidize this kind of economically unviable technology by slapping the cost on existing rate payers, all you are doing is raising energy prices on everyone else so a select few can reap the rewards of a corporate handout,” said Owens.
Owens said that NFIB will be working vigorously to get the truth out about this proposal and seeking its defeat at the polls.