The Michigan Public Service Commission is now in charge of solar utility projects in our state thanks to a new law that was implemented at the end of last year. A coalition that crosses party lines is currently pushing to bring back local authority over solar and wind energy projects.
“Let the voters decide and if the voters vote and they say yes we want wind that’s what would happen or we’re out of luck if the voters say no they don’t want wind that’s what happens,” Norman Stephens remarked.
Stephens is a member of Citizens for Local Choice, a ballot initiative committee that advocates for land use rights, and he opposes state regulation of solar utilities. Additionally, according to Stephens, four counties that use solar energy and support maintaining local autonomy have endorsed the committee.
“The fact that the locals are obtaining goods for their community makes it appear positive, but they still believe that the passed resolutions and state control are incorrect. According to Stephens, “The state has no business coming in here and telling us what to do. It’s not just about people who are trying to stop wind or solar.” It’s also about folks who have wind or solar panels.
The committee wants to see a petition appear on the ballot in November 2024. This would revoke the recently passed legislation that gives the Michigan Public Service Commission decision-making authority over local government and give local towns back control.
“We need 357,00 signatures, that’s valid signatures however we’re going to try to get 550,000 signatures,” Stephens stated.
By the end of May 2024, Citizens For Local Choice must gather these signatures.
During her State of the State address, Governor Gretchen Whitmer discussed the Clean Energy and Jobs Act.
“In the end, we passed a historic clean energy package to safeguard both our Great Lakes and every breath you take. By working together, we can reduce home utility costs by an average of $145 annually, achieve 100% sustainable energy by 2040, and generate thousands of well-paying jobs supported by the nation’s strictest labor laws. Whitmer declared, “We will produce more American energy using American labor.”