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Tuesday, 04 September 2012 10:41

Proposal poses expensive risks

Written by  Cynthia Kay
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Kay Kay
Michigan companies need strong plans based on hard facts to succeed in this economy. Lofty goals and good intentions are nice, but you’ve got to have a road map to get where you want to go. The lack of a plan is precisely why the “25 by ’25” ballot proposal is a bad idea.

Michigan already has a renewable energy standard that is working, 10 percent by 2015. The Michigan Legislature set that standard in 2008 after two years of research, analysis and discussion with a myriad of groups, including business. It was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Now out-of-state special interest groups want to increase that standard to 25 percent. And they want to do it by locking it into the Michigan Constitution, no matter how much it will force customers to pay. Energy experts say this proposal carries an eye-popping price tag for Michigan families and businesses: $12 billion.

This proposal creates far more questions than it answers: What will be the impact of locking that standard into the Michigan Constitution? How will business be affected? How will residential electric customers fare? How much damage will be done to the Michigan economy by the $12 billion cost of meeting that standard?

Every business owner in this state should consider all these unanswered questions. The last thing we need is an expensive, arbitrary energy policy that will be locked in the state constitution for years to come.

Energy policy is absolutely vital to business. Every business needs energy and that energy must be affordable and reliable. Michigan’s current energy policy was developed with great deliberation to ensure that the needs of Michigan’s businesses and families would be met. That policy is working as planned and Michigan energy providers are well on their way to meeting the 10-percent renewable energy standard by 2015.

We can’t let out-of-state special interests tinker with a comprehensive energy policy that is working well.

These special interests want Michigan to become the only state to lock a renewable energy standard into its constitution. No other state has done it because it’s a bad idea. Energy policy has to be flexible to meet changing supply and demand. Locking the standard into the constitution would hamstring the state with an inflexible policy that would soon be outmoded. Michigan can’t afford that.

Most of all, Michigan families and businesses can’t afford the $12 billion price tag of this reckless proposal.

Energy expenses are part of the cost of doing business, but the bottom line is that I need electricity that is both affordable and reliable.

This 25 percent renewable energy proposal is expensive, reckless and inflexible. It’s a bad idea that would put Michigan’s economy and its job providers at great risk.

The owner of Cynthia Kay and Co. in Grand Rapids, Kay is former board chair of the Small Business Association of Michigan and current board member of the National Small Business Association.

Read 2091 times Last modified on Tuesday, 04 September 2012 10:42