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Senate passes effort stripping local control for solar and wind projects

In a disappointing extension of the troublesome energy reforms that we recently saw rushed through the legislative process, the Senate doubled down on these overreaching policies and voted to remove decision-making authority from local governments regarding wind and solar developments and placed that authority in the hands of unelected bureaucrats in Lansing.

These bills try to give an appearance of local involvement when it comes to approving large-scale wind and solar facilities, but it is just window dressing. Proponents of these extreme energy overhauls that require reliance on wind and solar knew communities wouldn’t want to be packed full of wind farms and solar panels, so they had to introduce more bills that give the state the power to overrule local communities if they say they don’t want them.

For these developments, the legislation would require public meetings and a long, drawn out dog and pony show to make those participating feel like their opinion matters. The reality is the Michigan Public Service Commission gets the final say, and despite local pushback or concerns, these bills allow state government to bulldoze their way into city halls across the state and claim: “We know best.” Local governments have an opportunity to provide input, but the outcome is pre-determined. The only authority that locals maintain in this power grab is the ability to say yes.

I voted no because the bills usurp local authority, endanger thousands and thousands of acres of farmland, and to no surprise, will only affect rural areas of the state, like those in the 37th Senate District.

You can view my speech on the Senate floor opposing this drastic overreach below.

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Michigan's 37th Senate District

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Michigan’s 37th Senate District includes Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Leelanau counties and portions of Mackinac and Chippewa counties.

Senator John Damoose
4300 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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