Michigan House Republicans
The First of Many
RELEASE|December 5, 2023

By: State Rep. Pauline Wendzel

Last week, the Michigan Public Service Commission voted to approve a $368 million rate increase for DTE Energy to pay for clean energy infrastructure.  This comes on the heels of Governor Whitmer signing the most partisan energy package in Michigan history that mandates a 100% “clean” energy portfolio by 2040.

This rate case has been in the works for some time, but is just the first of many, many more to come.  While Democrats were crafting their partisan energy plan, they included a stipulation in the bill that allows electric providers to recover the cost of their compliance with the legislation.  By allowing electric providers to recover their compliance costs, Democrats have allowed utilities to spend unlimited sums of money on meeting the mandate set in the bills by passing their expenses on to you, the ratepayer. 

After the rate increase was announced, Legislative Democrats took to social media to express their outrage that their residents would be seeing these increased costs.  There’s only one small problem – they voted to allow it to happen.  In my floor speech before the final passage of the Green Dream, I warned every single one of my colleagues about the cost of this legislation and the amendments that were added in at the last minute.  It fell on deaf ears.  Democrats in lockstep voted for a massive overhaul of Michigan’s energy policy without understanding what the legislation did, and now they own it 100%.

To try and mitigate some of the worst aspects of this bill, I led my Republican colleagues in putting forward amendments to cap rate increases and protect Michigan families.  Democrats rejected every single one.  They rejected an amendment to cap rate increases at the rate of inflation.  They rejected an amendment to cap rate increases at 10%, another at 20%, and even one 30%.  Why would they do this? Because electric providers have estimated residential rates could increase as much as 50-60% to pay for this “Green New Deal.” Even worse, they not only rejected new Republican amendments, they stripped out language from the bipartisan 2016 package that did provide a cap on rates. Democrats sold the people of Michigan out to environmental activists and big energy companies, and they should absolutely be held accountable next November.

Energy has never been a partisan issue in our state, but it’s now been made one.  When the Legislature returns, I’ll be introducing a commonsense plan to strengthen our grid so Michiganders can depend on their service.  When Republicans take back the House next year, fixing this mess will be my number one priority.

As always, I appreciate hearing from you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at 517-373-1799 or at PaulineWendzel@house.mi.gov if you have any comments or concerns.

Michigan House Republicans

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