State Rep. Doug Wozniak released a statement today after the Michigan Public Service Commission authorized DTE Energy to raise customer rates by $368 million — a 6.4% increase. DTE said it needed the rate increase to comply with the state’s existing clean energy goals — requirements much smaller than Democrats’ new clean energy mandates.
“This is a devastating step in the wrong direction for families struggling to make ends meet,” said Wozniak, R-Shelby Township. “There is no question this decision is a direct result of Lansing Democrats and their radical new green energy plan. They made false promises that their new policies, which have been abandoned by many left-leaning states and countries, would improve reliability and affordability. Instead, utility companies are already pushing renewable energy expenses onto the consumer before the extreme policies are even implemented.”
The green energy mandates, which require the state to use 100% clean energy by 2040, were signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last month. The plan will effectively ban natural gas power plants by requiring expensive and impractical technology. In its place, Democrats are forcing a shift to unreliable wind and solar power sources. The bills repealed a rate cap, allowing utilities to pass on 100% of the green energy implementation expenses to ratepayers. The plan also gives zoning authority over large wind and solar projects to the Michigan Public Service Commission, prohibiting local government discretion over projects in their communities.
Wozniak, who serves as the Republican Vice Chair of the House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors, is worried for young families and those on fixed incomes who may already be struggling. He’s also concerned about the potential impact driving up electric costs could have on local businesses, especially in a time where more and more people are leaving Michigan. An expert analysis projects that average monthly electric bills could double under the legislation.
“Our friends and neighbors were expecting their elected officials to make the energy grid more reliable and affordable,” Wozniak said. “Democrats delivered a plan that checks off every box on an environmental activist’s wish list. The governor ignored Republican input on her way to lining the pockets of utility companies. This plan drives new families from our great state to places where their monthly electric bill and mortgage payment aren’t the same cost.”
Senate Bills 271, 273, 277, 502, and 519, and House Bills 5120-5121 previously passed the Democrat-run House and Senate along party lines.
“These bills would add $72 million dollars in new fees to the bills of public water customers, each year,” said Wozniak, R-Shelby Township. “The state already has too many poorly managed and underperforming programs. Macomb County residents are not clamoring for an expensive new program from which they would receive no benefit.”
“People want assurances government officials are using proceeds from the sale of property seized by the government exactly according to law,” said Wozniak, R-Shelby Township. “Corruption or even the appearance of corruption is a stain on our society. Our plan brings greater clarity to the civil asset forfeiture law by refining the process and limitations for its use.”
“Probate Court looks out for people in times of crisis, where time is of the essence,” said Wozniak, R-Shelby Township. “These caseloads don’t usually involve people who can wait weeks or sometimes even days for a hearing. We’re talking about orphaned children with nowhere to go, mentally ill and developmentally disabled loved ones, and folks looking for the authority to make medical decisions for incapacitated family members, and myriad of other circumstances where timely, thoughtful decisions need to be made. Macomb County needs this additional judicial position to help ensure our vulnerable family, friends and neighbors are properly served.”
“Probate Court handles some of the most sensitive cases which cannot be put off for months or even weeks in many cases. While we appreciate the assistance of visiting judges to help with this caseload, we should not be reliant on them.”