Conservatives to Sen. Nofs: Protect ratepayers, advance clean energy & jobs

LANSING– Members of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum (MCEF) today called on State Senator Mike Nofs, chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, to take bolder action in advancing Michigan’s clean energy future, saying ratepayers deserve accountability from their utility companies.

“Last summer Sen. Nofs provided outstanding leadership in identifying critical energy policy issues through his work group process. We are calling on him to continue in that role on behalf of Michigan families and businesses by keeping rates low and ensuring a transition to more home-grown, renewable Michigan energy,” said Larry Ward, MCEF Executive Director. “Governor Rick Snyder laid out a bold and pragmatic energy vision, and we strongly encourage the Legislature to move closer to where the Governor and Michigan citizens are on energy – more renewables, more energy efficiency, and affordable rates.”

Recent research completed by Public Opinion Strategies for the Christian Coalition of Michigan found that 84 percent of Michigan voters support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard, and 90% want to expand the state’s energy efficiency programs. This strong support transcends party lines with 70 percent of Republicans supporting a 20-percent renewable energy standard and 85% supporting expanding energy efficiency.

"When the Michigan Legislature opted for a regulated electricity market in 2008, it gave an enormous amount of control over production and distribution to the utility companies. But the Legislature maintains a responsibility to set policy directives, goals and objectives, especially with ratepayer interests in mind," added MCEF Leadership Council member Ed Rivet. “We urge Senator Nofs to pass an energy policy that will hold utilities accountable to their customers' need for stable, lower rates, job-creating renewable energy, and a cleaner environment.”

Concluded Ward, “The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum has pledged to work with Senator Nofs and his team to seize this current opportunity to create a better framework to protect ratepayers, be more energy efficient and create jobs.”