House Passes legislation that will increase energy bills, put more stress on already unstable electricity supply
NFIB, or the National Federation of Independent Business, expresses disappointment over a middle of the night vote in the House that passed flawed legislation that will lead to higher energy bills and more stress on an already unstable electricity supply.
The package of bills mandates Michigan to be “carbon neutral” by 2040, start the move toward eliminating non-renewable fuels, and create a new state department to help workers who might lose their jobs or part of their income from this flawed energy policy.
“Legislation creating the so-called “worker transition office” is expressly to help those in the auto industry who may lose their jobs or income due to the workers who are losing their jobs due to the transition to electric vehicles – hastened by the energy policy being enacted today,” said Amanda Fisher, NFIB Michigan State Director.
“This legislation implies that these union jobs are more important than jobs created by small business owners, who employ 48% of Michigan’s workforce. Fisher points out that legislators trying to solve the problems that arise from their own legislation by creating a new government agency is hypocritical and arrogant.
If legislators are worried about the effects their legislation will have on Michigan workers, they should reconsider their policies rather than trying to fix it with even more government resources.”
“Unfortunately, this new agency won’t be tasked with helping the employees of small businesses who could be hurt by the energy policy passed today,” continued Fisher. NFIB members have consistently said that reliability and affordability are their two top requirements when it comes to energy policy. Most small businesses do not have the margin to absorb additional costs that will come with mandating the move away from non-renewable fuel sources. “This means that either small businesses must increase their prices or cease doing business – both of these options have repercussions that reach beyond the small business owner but include their employees and communities.”
Fisher noted that reliability was even more important than cost to NFIB members which is why 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 more of a load to the already struggling grid is reason 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 to support these policies could not only have negative consequences for small businesses, but all Michiganders.”