Sen. Sue Shink (D-Northfield Twp.) discussed her contributions to Senate Democrats Clean Energy Future plan at a press conference held Tuesday, May 23, 2023 | Kyle Davidson
A slate of bills from the Senate’s “clean energy future plan” are set to move to the governor’s desk after further consideration from the House and Senate.
Last week, the House voted to approve Senate Bills 271, 273, 502 and 277, which would establish updated clean energy and waste reduction targets, allow farmers to lease their land to solar energy developers while maintaining farmland preservation standards, and instruct the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) — which regulates energy utilities in the state — to consider factors like equity, environmental justice, affordability and public health when considering energy companies’ plans for future operations.
According to a report from Gongwer News Service, members of the House accidentally passed the wrong version of Senate Bill 273 as it rushed to pass two packages of renewable energy bills.
The bill was returned to the House from the Senate, so that lawmakers could re-vote and send their proper versions to the Senate.
The Senate concurred with the changes made by the House. The bills will now head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk.
Senate Bill 519, which passed the House on Friday without amendment, will also be sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for signature. The bill would create a new Community and Worker Economic Transition Office aimed at facilitating the shift from fossil fuel to clean energy jobs.
While the Senate added a carveout to the Senate Bill 271 allowing incinerators in operation before Jan. 1 to be considered renewable energy sources, the House added restrictions limiting the definition to incinerators which do not expand and requiring the facility to be decommissioned no later than Jan. 1, 2040.
Whitmer issued a statement cheering the passage of the bills.
“With passage of these game-changing bills, Michigan will become a national leader on clean energy,” Whitmer said. “These bills will help us make more clean, reliable energy right here in Michigan, creating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and lowering utility costs for every Michigander by an average of $145 a year. Getting this done will also reduce our reliance on foreign fuel sources, while protecting our air, water, and public health.”
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