Post written by Executive Director Larry Ward:
After a long year, with countless committee hearings and hard work on the part of the Senate to improve Senate Bills 437 and 438, an energy package that will affect Michigan’s energy future for years to come, the Senate voted on November 10th to pass the package and send it to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Now that we’re in the midst of a fall legislative break and waiting for the state House to take up these bills after Thanksgiving, the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum (MCEF) would like to take this opportunity to thank Senator Dale Zorn (R - Ida), a member of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, for his amendment calling for an increased renewable energy standard. The Zorn amendment states that 15% of our energy must come from renewables by the end of 2021 – a 5% increase from our current standard of 10%, which we met in 2015.
Senator Zorn has continued to show leadership and argue for an increased commitment to renewable energy since May 2016, when during a Senate Energy and Technology Committee, he asked why a renewable energy standard wouldn’t be included in SB 438’s language alongside a more general goal of increasing the portion of renewable energy included in our state’s electricity mix. He suggested that the current 10% standard should be increased – but by a reasonable and achievable amount: “we keep talking about a goal of 30 or 40 percent or whatever the number might be but we do know that the green energy industry is changing very, very quickly and it’s good to have a high goal but it is only a goal. And I wonder if we should be looking at a goal at a percentage of 30, 40, 45 percent but also have in the mix to increase the percentage. We currently have 10% now and I wonder if we should have a mix with the goal and with an additional amount of maybe 5%... so that it shows to the state and to the country that we continue to move ahead with green energy but not have such a high number that it’s not achievable.”
Zorn was recently awarded the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council Legislator of the Year for his work on this amendment and his championship of renewable energy in general. Likewise, MCEF wants to thank Senator Zorn for his leadership. We are glad to support legislators like him who take a stand for clean energy and promote an “all of the above” energy plan that is reliable, affordable, and promotes a healthier environment for generations to come.