opinion: Economic future of Michigan will benefit if Proposal 3 passes
Proposal 3 (25 percent renewable electricity by 2025) will help secure a sound economic future for our state. The C.A.R.E. campaign (funded by utilities and big corporations) bases its opposition on the fear that renewable energy will increase the cost of electricity and calls it a “radical experiment." Neither is true.
Prop 3 merely continues the move to renewable sources at the same rate as the current Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) (PA 295:10% renewables by 2015) is implementing. When a Republican legislator proposed repealing PA 295 the utilities asked him not to. Acts like this one from Lansing is one reason that Prop 3 is needed.
Our constitution already addresses concerns from nuclear power to gay marriage so Prop 3 is appropriate. Prop 3 will assure that this new RPS will be not diluted or repealed by a backward thinking legislature that may be more concerned about getting campaign contributions or a job after term limits than creating a secure energy future for our great state.
One may ask: If PA 295 has the utilities moving toward renewables do we really need Prop 3? Neither DTE nor Consumers Energy currently plan additional renewables after 2015. Passing Prop 3 now will insure this progress continues uninterrupted.
C.A.R.E raises the specter of drastic electric rate increases and calls Prop 3 a “risky experiment." This too is false. The rate increase is limited by the proposal to 1 percent per year at a maximum. New wind energy is cheaper than new coal and since the energy from the wind and the sun is free, the true costs of wind and solar generated electricity is a fixed 20-30 year rate.
Future costs of coal or natural gas can not be predicted and inherently pose a great risk to our future economy. Prop 3 will reduce the flow of dollars out of our state to purchase dirty fossil fuels ($1.7 billion/yr) and create a cleaner, more sustainable future for Michigan.
Please vote Yes on Proposal 3.
Chair of the Ann Arbor Energy Commission