The Michigan Chamber of Commerce today voiced strong opposition to a
proposed constitutional amendment to mandate utilities to obtain at least 25
percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by the year
"The best way to develop and expand renewable energy in Michigan is through
the marketplace or the legislative process, not by amending the state
constitution," said Rich Studley, President & CEO of the Michigan Chamber.
"In 2008, Michigan adopted a 'Renewable Portfolio Standard' of 10 percent to
be achieved by 2015 as part of an overall state energy policy," noted Jim
Holcomb, Senior Vice President, Business Advocacy & General Counsel for the
Michigan Chamber. "Every piece of state energy law is connected and changing one
piece can create problems with other parts."
"Unfortunately, during this election season, individuals seeking financial
gain are willing to clutter the state constitution instead of pursuing a more
thoughtful approach that focuses on the legislative process open to all
stakeholders," Holcomb continued.
"Simply mandating a higher number will not increase Michigan's progress in
creating renewable energy," said Jason Geer, Small Business Advocate &
Chamber Partnership Manager for the Michigan Chamber. "Passage of the 2008
energy law demonstrated that there was bipartisan agreement at that time on the
direction the state needed to head regarding energy policy and a renewable
"The proponents of this constitutional amendment are unfortunately pushing
for energy policy to be decided as a campaign issue instead of through
substantive policy discussions and legislative debates," Holcomb stated.
"Attempting to amend the constitution in this instance is not a good policy
making process or good government."
"Detailed energy policy does not belong in the state constitution," said
Studley. "This ballot proposal is reckless and should be rejected."
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is a statewide business organization
representing approximately 6,800 employers, trade associations and local
chambers of commerce. The Michigan Chamber represents businesses of every size
and type in all 83 counties of the state. Michigan Chamber member businesses
provide jobs to 1.5 million residents. One of every 2.6 employees in Michigan
works for a Chamber member firm. The Chamber was established in 1959 to be an
advocate for Michigan's job providers in the legislative, political and legal
process. It is one of only four state chambers of commerce in the nation
accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.