Bills will protect environment, reduce costs, preserve local control

LANSING, Mich., Nov. 3, 2023 — The Michigan House of Representatives passed the Clean Energy and Jobs Act. This House legislative package is designed to streamline the approval process for building large-scale renewable energy projects. These bills put into place the tools necessary to achieve energy independence, to thrive economically and to make Michigan a national leader in the clean energy landscape — all while enhancing personal property rights.

Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) and Majority Whip Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton) — sponsors of HBs 5120-21 — collaborated with community members, farmers and stakeholders from across the state as they helped to craft this legislation to support landowner autonomy, reach carbon-reduction goals and create good-paying union jobs.

Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) addresses the membership of the House on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at the state Capitol in Lansing.

Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) addresses the membership of the House on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at the state Capitol in Lansing.

“The clean energy goals we set out for Michigan are ambitious, and I believe we can achieve these goals in order for Michigan to push forward as the innovative pioneer that we have proven to be in the past. I am thrilled my colleagues and I in the House were able to deliver the Clean Energy and Jobs Act to help put those bold goals into action,” Aiyash said. “This legislation streamlines the process so that landowners are free to use their land to produce clean energy as an additional source of revenue, should they so choose. This will make Michigan a clean energy leader, wean us off fossil fuels and provide tremendous benefits to local communities.”

“Getting this legislation across the legislative finish line is such a huge win for Michigan’s today and our tomorrow,” Puri said. “The clean energy projects these policies are going to enable will make Michigan an even more attractive place to build, live and grow. We are empowering farmers; we are diversifying our energy sources; we are leading the nation into a cutting-edge energy future. What a day to be a Michigander.”

State Rep. Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City) sponsored legislation earlier this year that largely mirrors Senate bills passed today. The bills codify much of the MI Healthy Climate Plan that the Whitmer administration debuted last year, including a renewable energy standard, increased energy efficiency programs and a bigger focus on environmental justice.

“Where I’m from in Northwest Michigan, protecting the environment isn’t just policy — it’s a way of life. I’m extremely proud to endeavor to live up to the legacy of environmental champions like former Gov. Bill Milliken, who hailed from my district,” said Coffia. “These bills are the right approach at the right time. Not only will Michigan be a national leader in renewable energy, we will create jobs, lower costs, preserve our environment and become an energy-independent state.”

Along with the Clean Energy and Jobs Act bill package, the House also passed the Senate Clean Energy Future legislation. The two packages together serve to set clean energy goals and, importantly, put into place the necessary tools to make those goals an achievable reality. In August, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer outlined her fall agenda, which included enacting a bold clean energy standard to protect Michigan’s air and water for future generations, while creating manufacturing jobs, lowering costs and enhancing reliability. This Democratic trifecta has demonstrated its commitment to making sure energy is clean, renewable, homegrown, efficient and affordable — and they’ve proven to follow through on that commitment.

“With passage of these game-changing bills, Michigan will be a national leader on clean energy. 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,” Whitmer said. “Getting this done will reduce our reliance on foreign fuel sources, while protecting our precious air, water and public health. People want to know that they can start a family, career, or business in a state that will provide them strong economic opportunities and fight for their children to have clean air and safe water. Today we are protecting everything we know and love about pure Michigan.”