LANSING, Mich., March 10, 2022 – The Michigan House passed House Bill 5077 yesterday with eight Democrats joining their Republican colleagues. The bill would suspend the state gas tax for 6 months, at a cost of approximately $750M. Legislators are proposing to backfill that lost revenue with the $4B surplus in the general fund. State Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette), released the following statement:

“Yesterday we voted to repeal the Michigan state gas tax for 6 months. This should save families around $328 and help residents from having to make tough choices about cutting back on their spending. Though it is one small step that can help businesses from having to raise their prices on consumers, more needs to be done at the federal level to also temporarily suspend the federal gas tax. If we don’t, we will pay for those decisions with even higher gas prices, added inflation, and the possibility of a recession while the global oil supply chain is disrupted by the war between Russia and Ukraine.”

Representative Cambensy also commented on a recent non-partisan, government research report from the Energy Information Administration that stated our global energy use is projected to increase through 2050 due to economic and population growth. Despite the growth in renewables, the report also states that consumption of oil and gas will still increase during this same period.

“There is a big push by some to get rid of all oil as an energy source in the world, or go entirely green by 2030, whether it is through renewable energy or electric vehicles. While all of us want to do our part and protect the environment and lower carbon emissions, I think there is a big disconnect from where we are at in terms of oil and gas usage and where some politicians say we will be. Government needs to be transparent and realistic in the energy goals we set. When we make it harder for oil and gas companies to invest and produce more oil while demand is increasing, and there is a crisis in the world that impacts the supply chain, we end up where we are today with near record level prices.”

Higher fuel costs impact everything from our municipal services that plow your streets to our public school buses that supply transportation to school children. Municipalities and schools who budget based on an average fuel price for their fiscal year, and the rapid increase will force some cuts to budgets that were not expected this year.

“I think it’s easy for some people to say that the increase in gas prices are no big deal. But when you think about how much our economy is dependent on fuel prices remaining stable, and those prices now skyrocket, it’s only a matter of time before services and programs get cut, or people get laid off. And no one wants that.”