Governor’s imposing green energy mandates slam DTE customers
Dec. 5, 2023 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Plymouth residents can expect to pay premium prices for more blackouts and intermittent service
By: Don Howard
This week right after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed three proposed green energy bills, the strictest energy mandate in the nation-forcing transition from fossil fuels and committing Michigan to reach “100 % green energy by 2040,” DTE Energy received regulatory approval to raise electric rates.
Boasting the benefits, Whtimer claimed the transition will be good for the environment and create 160,000 new jobs.
Whitmer was joined by fellow state Democrats, climate activists and industry stakeholders, like DTE Energy, during a ceremony in Lansing, Tuesday, where she signed a total of seven green energy bills.
“Once I sign these bills, Michigan becomes a national leader on clean energy, bringing billions of federal tax dollars home and private investment into our communities,” Whitmer remarked.
The Governor’s Clean Energy Future plan transfers permitting authority for large-scale green energy projects from local control to Michigan Public Service Commission, the state regulator.
The same week, on Friday afternoon (Dec. 1) when bad news is typically released, the MPSC approved an over $368 million rate increase for DTE’s customers that will take effect this month on Dec.15.
The agency’s press release claimed it was a 40% reduction from the utility’s original request. DTE had amended it to ask $580 million, so $42 million it disclaimed cannot be credited to regulators. Regardless, the MPSC gave the company two-thirds of what it really wanted.
The Commission linked the increase in rates to the need to fund DTE’s planned infrastructure investments that are to “boost reliability and speed up deployment of clean energy generation.” The press release hailed a first-ever “audit is now underway” of DTE’s infrastructure.
Prior investigations, numerous customer complaints, news articles on substations burning up and decades-old poles snapping, and blackouts (in Plymouth) on clear, sunny, tranquil days did not motivate action to correct this reliability crisis. Funding infrastructure investments before an audit discloses specific deficiencies would seem to put the cart before the horse or, perhaps, to throw the customer under the wheels.
Under the Governor’s aggressive plan, the average monthly electric bill would be nearly double the current average in coming decades, according to a soon to be released study from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy – a free market think tank which analyzed the controversial package of energy bills. The report warns that overall grid reliability would be severely diminished.
Mackinaw Center Director of Energy and Environmental Policy, Jason Hayes, asserts most of that increased rate would pad the pockets of utility companies, many of whom have complete monopolies over the market.
Hayes maintains, this plan, in addition to being significantly higher in cost, will also be lower in quality. Michigan residents can expect to pay premium prices for more blackouts and intermittent service.
State Rep. Jaime Greene, R-Richmond recently released the following statement shortly after the bills passed:
“Michigan is already burdened by high energy costs and an unreliable grid that leaves families in the dark far too frequently…This plan is a recipe for disaster. It shamefully ignores reliability and affordability – the two main concerns people are grappling with when it comes to their electricity – and will make our problems even worse.”