Anti-Renewable Energy Ballot Initiative Fails to Qualify for 2024 Ballot

Anti-Renewable Energy Ballot Initiative Fails to Qualify for 2024 Ballot

Polluter-led effort to restrict farmers’ rights, leave families with higher energy costs, and curtail Michigan’s clean energy future fails to receive support from Michiganders


LANSING – The dark money and fossil fuel industry-backed Citizens for Local Choice’s ballot initiative failed to qualify for the 2024 ballot, according to an email sent today to the campaign’s listserv. The measure sought to repeal key parts of Michigan’s new energy laws and prevent farmers and landowners from making their own decisions about installing clean energy on their land.  


“This misguided proposal would hurt farmers looking to keep multi-generation land in their families and strip them of their property rights, all while harming workers that can benefit from clean energy tax revenue and jobs. Repealing our important clean energy laws would only lead to an increase in utility rates for Michigan families and small businesses,” said Nick Dodge, communications director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “Michigan is leading the nation with its 100% clean electricity standard and Michiganders saw through this fossil-fuel backed ballot petition. The energy law passed last year is essential to improving public health, preserving property rights and protecting our Great Lakes.”


The 2023 Clean Energy and Jobs Act that put in place some of the strongest labor standards for clean energy projects in the country, ensuring clean energy projects pay a prevailing wage and have project labor agreements. It also streamlines the siting process for renewable energy projects so farmers and landowners can more easily lease portions of their land to bring in additional revenue and generate clean energy. Citizens For Local Choice’s ballot initiative sought to repeal these provisions. 


“Michigan’s clean energy economy is booming—paying good paying jobs to more than 124,000 Michiganders with many more anticipated,” said Dr. Laura Sherman, president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. “Michigan EIBC is glad that farmers across Michigan can now use their land as they want, allowing family farms to stay with Michigan families. Clean energy projects will continue to support Michigan communities and farmers, creating jobs for years to come.”


“Michigan’s historic clean energy laws have positioned the state as a national leader in clean energy. Today, Michiganders protected the state’s clean energy leadership by rejecting a fossil fuel-funded scheme to repeal a core part of the clean energy plan before it was even implemented,” said Courtney Bourgoin, Evergreen Action Midwest Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager. “This is a huge victory for clean energy progress in Michigan and a massive defeat for fossil fuel dark money interests attempting to misuse siting policy to derail the clean energy economy. The protection of last year’s clean energy package is essential for attracting clean energy projects, lowering energy costs, and addressing historical pollution and economic neglect. These renewable energy siting reforms will help Michigan meet Governor Whitmer’s climate goals while also multiplying the good-paying union jobs, energy savings, and tax revenue communities are already seeing across the state thanks to the clean energy economic boom.”


Thanks to Michigan legislative leaders passing and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing a historic energy package in November, Michigan is positioned to be a leader in the clean energy movement. These new energy laws will drive billions of dollars in federal funding to Michigan to support clean energy, along with tens of thousands of jobs and energy savings for consumers across the state.


Farmers, educators, state and municipal leaders have spoken in favor of the economic benefits that wind, solar, and other renewable energy projects have brought to their communities, including for their local districts and fire departments. Michigan labor leaders have praised the nation-leading labor standards and prevailing wage provisions in the recently passed clean energy package. The collective laws also empower farmers and landowners to put their land to work to advance Michigan’s clean energy goals while protecting family farms and help promote further efforts to bring affordable solar energy to communities through initiatives like the Solar For All program



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