Michigan Small Business Opposes Flawed Energy Policy

Date: October 30, 2023

NFIB Urges House to Stop Unreasonable Energy Legislation.

The National Federation of Independent Business is voicing its opposition to the rushed legislation Senate Democrats passed Thursday night.

The package sets more ambitious targets for clean and renewable energy standards in Michigan including a mandate the entire state be “carbon neutral” by 2040, starts a move toward eliminating non-renewable fuels, and creates a new state department to help workers who lose their jobs or part of their income.

NFIB State Director in Michigan, Amanda Fisher calls the energy policy a flawed, not well thought out effort by Senate Democrats to protect union jobs at the expense of small business.

“Legislation creating the so-called “worker transition office” is expressly to help workers who are losing their jobs due to the transition to electric vehicles. It implies that union jobs are more important than jobs created by small business owners, who employ 48% of Michigan’s workforce.”

Fisher calls the action hypocritical and arrogant, a stunt by Senate Democrats to solve problems they created by doubling down and tasking a new government agency to appease Michigan’s unions.

“If lawmakers are truly worried, they should fix the problem, not spend money hiring new state workers to dole out taxpayer money to Michiganders whose jobs are now obsolete.

What about the small business owners who will be forced to increase prices or lay off their workers thanks to the same poorly planned policy? Most small businesses do not have the margin to absorb all the additional costs from the mandate the move away from non-renewable fuel sources. Why aren’t they included in the effort to help recently laid off workers transition to a new industry?

NFIB members have consistently said that reliability and affordability are their two top requirements when it comes to energy policy. Michigan’s crumbling electric grid continues to be a concern. In its 2023 report card, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), gave Michigan’s energy grid a D, citing the continuing increase in reliability issues since 2018. Adding an even higher load to the already struggling grid is reason enough to halt this flawed policy.

“Small business owners strive to be good stewards of our environment, however, massive shifts in energy policy with arbitrary dates and without proper infrastructure and technology will not only have negative consequences for small businesses, but all Michiganders across the entire state.”

NFIB urges the House to stop this unfeasible policy and vote against similar legislation introduced in their Chamber.

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