LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Outman on Wednesday issued the following statement after the Democrat-led Senate Committee on Energy and Environment resumed hearings on radical proposals to overhaul the state’s energy policies and mandate Michigan adapt to a clean energy standard:
“This tone-deaf initiative ignores the struggles our grid is already facing and the fact that Michigan already pays some of the highest rates in the region.
“Nothing makes prices go up quicker than a government mandate. We’ve seen it in the auto industry and already in the energy sector. When companies face pressure from the government, it often causes costs to rise and be shifted to the shoulders of paying customers. The state already subsidizes a number of programs to help people with their energy bills because the rates are so high — these proposals run the risk of overregulating even more businesses and residents right out of the state.
“It’s foolish to consider foregoing investments we’ve already made into power generation and relying 100% on unproven technology like wind and solar. The reliability of wind and solar alone has not proven itself to be something I’m willing to bank our future on.
“At some point, Democratic leadership needs to revisit the feasibility of the energy policies we choose to pursue and put all of our money behind. Supporting and strengthening our current grid, striving for clean energy and reducing emissions are not mutually exclusive. This isn’t a one or the other thing. We can continue working to implement new ideas and improve the reliability of alternative, clean energy sources without throwing all our eggs into one basket.
“I’ve served on the energy committees in both the House and Senate and have been involved in this issue for most of my time in the Legislature. At this time, there are simply more questions than answers surrounding the reliability of some of these clean energy proposals and what they will mean for utility customers and for Michigan’s future.”