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Senator Patrick Colbeck’s Newsletter
 

Legislative UPDATE

“Energy Reform” Package Voted Out of Senate

Capitol Building

In this edition:

- "Energy Reform” Legislation
- Post-Election Unity
- District Event: United We Skate!
- Hunting Resources

Last Thursday, a pair of bills that would dramatically change energy policy within the state of Michigan was voted out of the Senate, and is now headed to the House. Details below:

“Energy Reform” Legislation

Because of overreaching (and potentially illegal) regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan’s utilities sought legislation which culminated in SB 437 & SB 438. While the legislation helps utilities to better respond to questionable new federal edicts, it does not help ratepayers. The bills also did not reflect the voices of the majority of constituents the office heard from.  Sen. Colbeck voted “no” on the package.

The bills did not do enough to protect ratepayers, or offer enough in terms of true consumer choice. The Senator voiced concern that he felt energy rates would increase under the bills, even though Michigan already has some of the most expensive rates in the Midwest, and would also increase costs for local schools. There would also be negative impacts in the legislation for people who want to newly generate a portion of their own power through the “net metering” program, as well as insufficient consumer choice when it came to making sure people could pick where their energy came from.

Sen. Colbeck offered two amendments: one to increase the number of customers who can change where they buy their power from, and one regarding true choice for "smart meters". Both amendments were unfortunately defeated.

“The bills that we have voted on today not only keep the utility monopolies that are already in place, but strengthen their grip on the ratepayers of this state,” Sen. Colbeck said. “I know for example that in my district that some schools would have to pay more for energy, which ends up costing all taxpayers. To change our energy policy in Michigan while not expanding options for self-generation, meter choice, and resource choice, we are simply propping up by legislation a dying energy market that may help utility stockholders, but does not help our ratepayers.”

In response to the bills Sen. Colbeck also introduced legislation of his own, SB 1164, which would create more choice for ratepayers by allowing them to both choose and pay for the specific type of energy that they want. Under the bills and amendments, one customer for example might choose to select and pay for all solar energy, and then choose to keep their analog meter. Another customer might wish to use only nuclear energy, and would want to participate in time-of-day pricing programs.

The premise behind the Colbeck legislation is that as long as utility monopolies exist in Michigan, and customers can’t change who they buy their power from, that our laws should work to ensure that the provider that customers must buy from gives them as many choices and options as possible.

SB 437 & SB 438 are now in the House where they are expected to be voted upon in December. If you wish to contact your State Representative on this important legislation and are unsure who they are, please click here.

Reflections on Veterans Day & Unity in Peacetime

Pearl Harbor

Although our most recent elections are behind us, a period of time which sometimes saw great divisiveness, it was just a few days later that Veterans Day brought us all back together. Next month we will also be reflecting on the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which ushered in a time of great unity for our country.

Whether it be Pearl Harbor or September 11th, it is relatively easy for our country to come together when it has been attacked. The perspective gained during such times can make us realize how much more we have in common with each other than we realize, but can be quick to fade.

Finding such a sense of unity in relative times of peace can be much more difficult but is just as important. How we will unite as a country after our most recent elections is something we can all reflect upon and commit to with steps for actionable change. Our differences are some of the things that can make us great as a country, but unity and action behind a shared committed path is what ultimately fulfills that promise.

Also as a reminder, if you, a friend, or a loved one is looking for a comprehensive veterans’ booklet on available programs and other services please click here.

“Warriors Hockey” Set for November 19th in Plymouth

Warriors Hockey

United We Skate!

On the heels of Veterans Day, the charitable 501(c)(3) “Michigan Warriors” will take on the “Detroit Red Wings Alumni” team on November 19th at the USA Hockey Arena here in Plymouth Michigan.

All proceeds benefit the disabled veterans of the Michigan Warriors Hockey Program. For details visit www.michiganwarriorshockey.com. This newsletter does not constitute an endorsement.

Need Resources for Hunting Rules and Regulations?

Opening Day

Click here to find Senator Colbeck’s hunting guide.

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OUR DISTRICT

Michigan’s 7th Senate District
 

The 7th Senate District includes Canton Township, Livonia city, Northville city, Northville Township, Plymouth city, Plymouth Township, and Wayne city.

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Senator Patrick Colbeck

1020 Farnum Bldg. P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Phone: (517) 373-7350

Email: SenPColbeck@senate.michigan.gov
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Visit my website at: www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com
 
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