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House Energy Policy Committee Hits Deregulation Hard

On March 25, the Michigan House Energy Policy Committee held the latest in a series of hearings on securing Michigan’s energy future. The hearing—hosted by State Representative Aric Nesbitt, who has introduced legislation that achieve many of AMP’s goals—featured the Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity (ABATE). 

Unsurprisingly, an advocate for electric deregulation, the Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity (ABATE), believes expanding the current market is the answer to problems like Michigan’s looming capacity crisis. As it turns out, the vast majority of legislators were just as skeptical as we are about this claim.

Tough Questioning from Michigan Lawmakers

Throughout the hearing, Chairman Nesbitt jumped in with pertinent questions, many of which revealed the biggest gaps in the deregulation argument. Other Representatives were also just as tough in their questions.

A Good Day for Michigan Energy Consumers

Overall, there seemed to be near unanimity and true bipartisanship in opposition to electric deregulation. This is good news for all Michiganders, not to mention our state’s economy.

The fact is, the retail energy marketers who support deregulation don’t provide the reliable, affordable, and clean electricity upon which Michigan’s economy depends. These out-of-state retail energy marketers do not invest in the increased capacity needs of Michigan’s homes and businesses. Without such investment, Michigan consumers face the potential of power shortages, which is completely unacceptable.

Instead of more harmful deregulation, we need a comprehensive, Michigan First energy policy in 2015. If we don’t make that a reality, the federal government will impose its own solution on Michigan.  That’s why it’s so encouraging that Governor Snyder and key legislators seem to be coming around.

At the hearing, Chairman Nesbitt also said that the Energy Policy Committee would hold a “full day” of hearings in a few weeks to continue exploring Michigan energy issues. As always, AMP will continue to keep you up-to-date on these hearings as they move forward.  Stay tuned!