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Michigan House Republicans
Rep. VanWoerkom: Local governments, not state, should be deciding voice on solar projects
RELEASE|October 10, 2023

Rep. VanWoerkom voiced his strong opposition today to legislation introduced in the House that would strip control away from local communities concerning the construction of large-scale solar and wind energy projects.

House Bill 5120-5123, introduced by House Democrats on Tuesday, would give the unelected Michigan Public Service Commission the authority to permit large solar and wind construction, taking control away from local governments. The three-member board is made of governor appointees, and the governor is publicly supporting a plan to add thousands of square miles of new wind and solar farms in rural communities.

Under these bills, the MPSC could force the projects on local communities with little regard for residents’ concerns, and the community would have no ability to hold the unelected commission members accountable.

Additionally, House Democrats introduced legislation mandating Michigan electric companies to use entirely carbon-free power sources by 2035, prematurely closing natural gas plants and driving up the cost of electricity. These bills combined would impact hundreds of jobs, energy affordability and reliability and communities. 

“Michigan residents, by way of local governments, should have a say in what goes on in their communities,” VanWoerkom said. “This deliberate attempt by House Democrats to silence their voices will inhibit locals from holding people accountable for the impact that solar and wind projects have on the local environment, economy, and quality of life.”

“I stand with our local decision-making authorities, and I’ll do all I can to ensure that the people who live in rural communities have a say in their future,” VanWoerkom said.

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