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Michigan’s Reliance on Fossil Fuel Is About to Reduce Thanks to These Six Bills Gov. Whitmer Signed Into Law

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Gov. Whitmer at the Signing of the Clean Energy Bills
Source: Michigan.gov

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a landmark legislative package. It demands that state power providers meet very aggressive green energy goals.

Whitmer, along with other state Democrats, climate activists, and industry stakeholders, signed the six green energy bills. The bills aim to reduce Michigan’s reliance on fossil fuels and improve environmental quality statewide. 

What the state hopes to achieve under the Clean Energy Future plan is 100% clean energy. Also, it is required to be in place within two decades.

ALSO READ: This Nobel Prize Winner Does Not Agree There’s a Climate Crisis

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Just before appending her signature, Whitmer said. “Once I sign these bills, Michigan becomes a national leader on clean energy, bringing billions of federal tax dollars home and private investment into our communities.”

She continued: “Together, we are protecting our air, our water, and our land while focusing on tackling climate change head-on. Today is a huge win for Michigan families, for Michigan businesses, and for future generations of Michiganders.”

Whitmer is well aware of how ambitious the clean energy future is. However, she also believes that it is “achievable.” She urged everyone to pursue the goals wholeheartedly because “we’re not afraid of hard things in Michigan.”

She said: “We have defied and defined history so many times before, and I know we are up to it again. We will lead the clean energy future because we have the workforce. And now the legislation to foster strong economic growth.”

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The six bills Whitmer signed into law include: 

  • Senate Bill 271 requires energy companies to meet a 100% clean energy standard by 2040
  • Senate Bill 273 increases the state’s energy waste reduction standards and creates goals for further energy savings.
  • Senate Bill 277 allows farmers to rent out their land for solar energy generation while still participating in the state’s farmland and open space preservation program.
  • Senate Bill 502 instructs the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) — the body that regulates Michigan energy companies — to weigh factors like equity, environmental justice, affordability, public health, and more when reviewing energy companies’ operations plans. 
  • Senate Bill 519 creates a new Community and Worker Economic Transition Office within the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, aimed at facilitating the shift from fossil fuel to clean energy jobs.
  • House Bill 5120 provides the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) with the authority to approve large-scale renewable energy projects — including solar, wind, and battery storage – removing that exclusive control from local governments.

ALSO READ: These 5 Electric Vehicles Are Not Guaranteed to Work After 50,000 Miles

Senate Bill 271 establishes a renewable energy standard of 50% by 2030 and 60% by 2035. This means electric utilities must meet at least that share of their electric generation capacity with renewable energy credits or direct renewable energy generation. 

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The mandate supersedes previous laws requiring utilities to maintain a 15% renewable energy standard through 2029.

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