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MCEF Applauds Michigan Legislature for Passage of Bipartisan Energy Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 OR Thursday, December 15, 2016
Contact: Katie O’Connell, (269) 290-6482

LANSING — Today, in response to the state legislature’s passage of a comprehensive energy package that increases the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 15 percent, improves energy efficiency programs and positions Michigan to expand its clean energy economy, members of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum (MCEF) Leadership Council issued the following statements:

“We applaud the Michigan Legislature for passing legislation that will ensure Michigan maintains an ‘all of the above’ energy policy for years to come,” said Larry Ward, Executive Director of MCEF. “By increasing the state’s successful renewable energy standard, this legislation will help to further strengthen and diversify our energy mix, rein in costs and protect ratepayers and small businesses from the price volatility of traditional fuel sources. By passing SB 437 and 438, Michigan is better positioned today than it was yesterday to compete for jobs and investment in our nation's clean energy transition."

“The Michigan Legislature has shown great leadership today,” said Hank Fuhs, Secretary of the Michigan GOPand MCEF Leadership Council Member. “This bipartisan energy legislation will help spur investment in the state’s growing renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, attract good-paying local jobs, and improve our economy.”

“We applaud the legislature for taking action to improve the language protecting net metering policy," said Ed Rivet, one of Michigan’s top conservative political activists and MCEF Leadership Council Member. “While this is a step in the right direction for the solar industry, we still have more work ahead of us to protect the trajectory of renewable energy in Michigan, and to ensure the growth of our energy economy and that ratepayer’s benefit for generations to come.”

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About MCEF: The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum is an organization comprised of conservatives who believe that Michigan should adopt a true “All of the Above” energy policy that includes an increase in our commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency. MCEF believes encouraging diverse and local energy production and reduced energy waste will create jobs and stimulate Michigan’s economy, reduce our reliance on foreign energy, improve our national security, and protect our valuable natural resources. http://www.micef.org/

 

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Performance standards can reign in electricity costs for 2016 ratepayers

2016 will be a critical year for energy in Michigan. Our clean energy policy sunset at the end of last year, and the Michigan legislature has a true opportunity to set us on a path toward a more affordable energy future by passing performance standards for Michigan utility companies.

Michigan has the highest electricity costs in the Midwest; that hits families’ pocketbooks and makes our businesses less competitive. Every additional dollar spent to keep the lights on means less money spent at local businesses, and less investment in Michigan workers.

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Expect to Pay More for Holiday Lighting Under Rate Hike

However, the The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum said the rate increase shows the need for increased energy efficiency and reliance on renewables in the energy overhaul the Michigan Legislature is considering.

“Michigan already has the highest electricity costs in the Midwest and this latest rate increase should be a call to action for the Michigan Legislature to rein in costs through energy efficiency and renewable energy goals,” Larry Ward, executive director of MCEF, said in a statement. “Now is the time for conservatives to lead by requiring the utilities to reduce energy waste and purchase low-cost renewable energy.”

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Forum: Enact more pro-renewable energy policy

The holidays are quickly approaching and both adults and children are getting in the spirit, hoping that wishes large and small come true this season.

As chief executive officer of Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa, I will be hoping for a package of a different size and scope under the tree — a package of pro-business, pro-renewable energy legislation signed, sealed and delivered on both a state and national level. Countless businesses, like mine, stand to benefit from policies that contribute to the falling prices of renewable energy.

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering legislation that would extend the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit for renewable energy products. The decision to do so could build on the tremendous success the policies have had nationwide. A five-year extension of the ITC alone would lead to 32 percent more solar deployment from 2016-2022. The growth would have a tremendous impact on jobs in Michigan, creating 31 percent more yearly employment opportunities. Alternately, if Congress fails to extend the ITC, solar deployment alone will drop 28 percent from 2016-17.

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DTE to raise electric rates by more than $8 per month next week

The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum said in a statement that the rate increase drove home a need for increased energy efficiency and renewables in an energy overhaul the legislature is considering.

"Michigan already has the highest electricity costs in the Midwest and this latest rate increase should be a call to action for the Michigan Legislature to rein in costs through energy efficiency and renewable energy goals," said Larry Ward, executive director of MCEF. "Now is the time for conservatives to lead by requiring the utilities to reduce energy waste and purchase low-cost renewable energy."

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Report: Michigan clean-energy supply chain thriving, but threatened

The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, a Republican-led group pushing for more clean energy development in the state, earlier this year pegged total investment at $2.2 billion and supporting 6,000 jobs. The group issued a report in 2014 saying that a renewable portfolio of 20 percent by 2025 would result in a total output of over $6.5 billion, support more than 41,000 job years and create $2.11 billion in employee compensation.

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Comply and resist: Snyder, Schuette approach Clean Power Plan differently

“Regardless of the Clean Power Plan, we need to move forward on Michigan’s energy future and laws that pertain to it,” said Larry Ward, executive director of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum.

The MCEF has lobbied in support of expanding Michigan’s renewable production and energy efficiency as part of an “all-of-the-above” energy policy.

Ward said Michigan’s energy policy as it relates to federal compliance is on two tracks — a legal one and a legislative one. His group is “following the track of the governor right now” and is not weighing in “one way or the other” on the legality of the Clean Power Plan.

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College Republicans talk perception of GOP energy policy

The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum spoke to the University’s chapter of College Republicans on Thursday about energy policy and its relationship with bipartisanship.

The event, held in the Michigan Union, focused on the activities of the MCEF, which was formed in 2013 in response to the impending expiration of a number of energy bills

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Wolfram: Legislature should incentivize utilities

Governor Snyder and the Michigan Legislature are currently debating the state’s future energy policy. How electricity is generated, transmitted and distributed is important to every mid-Michigan resident – because one thing we all have in common, is that we all use energy.

Recognizing the importance of this debate, I released a white paper for the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum entitled Improving Michigan’s Electric Utility Industry. Groups on all sides of the current energy policy debate have been able to use some of the ideas in the paper and I would like to clarify them. Considering that the state is likely to continue operating in a regulated market for the immediate future, our elected officials need to at least establish incentives for electric utilities that will improve efficiency in the market and keep costs down.

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Beth Soholt Moderates Michigan Wind Vision Roundtable

Wind on the Wires’ Executive Director Beth Soholt moderated a roundtable discussion on October 8 that highlighted the new report “A wind vision for new growth in Michigan” at Macomb Community College, where students are learning skills that will help them obtain good-paying jobs in the renewable energy industry across the region.

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'Green Tea' Party? Far right Republicans, liberal Democrats aligning on Michigan renewable energy issue

Green Tea Party has a certain ring to it, but Michigan Conservative Energy Forum Executive Director Larry Ward said it was sort of a misnomer for what's going on in Michigan.

Ward's group advocates for renewable energy based on jobs and economic grounds. It's definitely not the global warming perspective green groups come from, but on issues like renewable energy or the net metering package, they end up aligning.

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Wind power supporters anxious to invest more

Brion Dickens, Oliver Township planning commission chair, joined a panel with Larry Ward, director of Michigan Conservative Energy Forum; Scott Viciana, vice president of Ventower, a Monroe-based wind turbine fabricator and supplier; and Ken Weller, operations manager at EDF Renewables.

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Electric regulation must move Michigan to renewables, efficiency

Michigan's regulated electric utility market can be significantly improved. An open market should be the goal, but it will require overcoming significant political and economic hurdles. In the meantime, lawmakers should enact legislation that creates incentives for utilities, consumers and entrepreneurs aligned with goals to use less energy, lower costs and transitions the state toward generation from cleaner sources and more efficient sources, including renewables.

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Q & A: Why energy independence matters to Michigan

A retired vice admiral in the U.S. Navy — who is now an adviser on a board that studies pressing issues to the country’s national security — says Michigan is a leading example of how energy independence will be crucial for adapting to the threats of climate change.

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Wolfram Releases New Study - Hillsdale Daily News

The study highlights the inefficiencies in Michigan’s regulated energy sector and recommends that legislative action is needed to control costs, reduce pollution and improve outcomes.
“Michigan has the highest electricity costs in the region, and it’s the role of the legislature to pass regulation to protect consumers and improve efficiencies,” Wolfram said. “On their own, Michigan’s monopoly utilities are not incentivized to make choices that are efficient. Through regulations and policy, the Michigan Legislature can make the market more efficient, reduce cost and increase economic activity.”

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Hillsdale Economist Gary Wolfram releases Energy Study “Improving Michigan’s Electric Utility Industry” Released Today

LANSING – The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum today hosted conservative economist Dr. Gary Wolfram, Director of Economics at Hillsdale College, to release his new study, Improving Michigan’s Electric Utility Industry. In the study, Wolfram highlights inefficiencies in Michigan’s regulated energy sector and recommends that legislative action is needed to control costs, reduce pollution and improve outcomes.

“Michigan has the highest electricity costs in the region and it’s the role of the legislature to pass regulation to protect consumers and improve efficiencies,” said Wolfram. “On their own, Michigan’s monopoly utilities are not incentivized to make choices that are efficient. Through regulation and policy the Michigan Legislature can make the market more efficient, reduce cost and increase economic activity.”

According to Dr. Wolfram, even though Michigan has the highest electricity costs in the region, Michigan utilities fail to provide commensurate service or environmental standards when compared to neighboring states.

“Dr. Wolfram’s study shows that legislative action is needed to rein in electricity costs for Michigan families and businesses,” said Larry Ward, executive director of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum. “This study is a call to action to the legislature to improve market conditions by incentivizing behaviors that encourage utilities to achieve the state’s clean energy goals. By passing the right incentives, legislative leaders have the ability to create clean energy policy that is a winner for everyone.” 

About Dr. Gary Wolfram

Gary Wolfram is President of Hillsdale Policy Group, Ltd, and the William E. Simon Professor of Economics and Public Policy and the Director of Economics at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Capitalist Manifesto: Understanding Market Economy and Defending Liberty, and has published numerous works on public policy issues. He has served in several policy positions, including Michigan's Deputy State Treasurer, member of the Michigan State Board of Education, President of the Board of Trustees of Lake Superior State University and Congressman Nick Smith's Washington Chief-of-Staff­. Dr. Wolfram received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and has taught at the University of California at Davis, Mount Holyoke College, Washington State University, and the University of Michigan at Dearborn.

About MCEF:

The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum is an organization comprised of conservatives who believe that Michigan should adopt a true “All of the Above” energy policy that includes an increase in our commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency.  MCEF believes encouraging diverse and local energy production and reduced energy waste will create jobs and stimulate Michigan’ economy, reduce our reliance on foreign energy, improve our national security, and protect our valuable natural resources. For more information and additional copies of Improving Michigan’s Electric Utility Industry and other white papers, visit MCEF online at http://www.micef.org/.

 

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