LANSING — State Representative John Kivela (D-Marquette) said that while Michigan and the Upper Peninsula need an energy plan, the plan passed by the Legislature yesterday doesn’t address U.P. energy issues and that is why he voted no on Senate Bills 437 and 438.

“I voted no on Senate Bills 437 and 438 because, in my opinion, we clearly missed an opportunity to provide a true long-term energy plan that would benefit all of Michigan’s residents and businesses,” said Kivela. “Specifically, this plan did not include a true Michigan solution to guaranteeing reliable, available and affordable power for the U.P. and Northern Lower Peninsula.”

Kivela noted that there were portions of the energy plan that he thought were positive steps toward a better energy future for Michigan. But he was dismayed when he realized that the plan reneged on promises that were made in regard to the energy needs of the U.P. Kivela supported an amendment, offered by Rep. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), that would have considered ways to provide the U.P. with energy without relying on Wisconsin. That amendment failed.

“Rep. Ed McBroom and I fought for inclusion of an amendment that would have created a true path towards a possible electric connection between our state’s peninsulas, which would have allowed the Upper Peninsula to no longer be dependent on Wisconsin,” said Kivela. “Unfortunately, the amendment failed as too many of our colleagues from below the bridge did not believe the new Michigan energy plan needed to benefit all parts of the state.

“It is my hope that in the upcoming legislative session, the House, Senate and administration will be open to new discussions aimed at an honest and open conversation regarding both the short-term and long-term energy needs for residents and businesses of the Upper Peninsula.”