Opposition mounts to proposed ban  on solar energy in rural Michigan

Opposition mounts to proposed ban on solar energy in rural Michigan


LANSING, Mich. – Michigan League of Conservation Voters is urging the Board of State Canvassers to reject the misleading summary on a petition which would ban solar energy in rural parts of Michigan. The proposal will halt the state’s clean energy progress, strip farmers of their rights, block landowners from earning a steady second income, and cut off vital tax revenue to local communities. 

“To protect our Great Lakes and future generations, Michigan must transition away from the dirty coal and oil that pollutes our waterways and make the transition to cleaner energy sources, like wind and solar,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director for Michigan League of Conservation Voters, which re-activated its ballot committee, Our Water, Our Democracy, to oppose the measure. “Renewable energy is a financial win for farmers, businesses and residents in rural communities across Michigan with several wind and solar projects up and running for more than a decade. Banning utility-scale solar projects in rural communities moves the state in the wrong direction. The proposed petition summary is flawed, misleading and would do a disservice to voters who support Michigan’s transition to clean, renewable energy.”

The board will meet at 10 a.m., Friday, April 28, in the Binsfield Office Building in downtown Lansing to discuss the proposed petition summary. Our Water, Our Democracy submitted a letter to the board urging it to consider how the proposed language doesn’t pass legal muster and should be rejected. 

Our Water, Our Democracy noted the state’s renewable energy plan depends on generating more power from renewable resources, including solar, and an unprecedented amount of federal funding is available to help the state manage this transition – $20 billion to date. Clean energy projects are bringing millions of dollars in tax revenue to Michigan communities – providing critical funding for schools, libraries, police and fire services, roads, community services and more.

“This ballot proposal – being pushed by the same fossil fuel interests that have come into rural communities and caused chaos and division – would further harm public health, stymie Michigan’s job creation, and limit opportunities for farmers and landowners as they face economic uncertainty from extreme weather and low crop prices,” Wozniak added. “The petition summary must disclose these negative impacts so that petition signers are informed of the true adverse effects of the proposal before they sign the petition.”

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