Citizens for Michigan’s Energy Future (CMEF), a utility front group, released an ad this month calling for public support for legislation introduced in the Michigan House and Senate to eliminate Michigan’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.
The misleading ad falsely claims that Michigan will facepower shortages unless electric utilities are given carte blanche to build expensive, dirty power plants instead of abiding by state standards for greater energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“We’ve known from the beginning that this campaign was designed to mislead the public and promote investments in fossil fuels instead of clean energy. This new ad shows that utility companies are the ones behind the legislative effort to protect their bottom line and block expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Michigan,” said Nic Clark, state director for Clean Water Action.
Michigan’s utilities have obstructed efforts to further expand renewable energy and energy efficiency standards in the state since they were implemented in 2008, despite evidence that these measures can protect public health and Michigan’s Great Lakes, bring more jobs to the state, save people money on utility bills, and mitigate climate change.
“Utilities should support legislation that protects public health, saves customers money, and reduces our use of polluting fossil fuels like coal and natural gas,” said Mike Berkowitz, Legislative Director, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “Instead, they’re doing the opposite – funding an astro-turf campaign to support bills that gut Michigan’s clean energy policies and preclude people from producing their own energy through solar panels. In order to hold utilities accountable to making clean energy investments, which they clearly won’t do on their own, we must increase our state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.”