Proposal 3: It's called the 25x25 proposal, because it would amend the Constitution to require Michigan to get 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2025. It should be called 25x25x25 because it would also increase the electric bills of consumers by 25 percent or more. Although supporters claim it would create jobs in green energy industries, many labor unions are opposing Prop 3 because they recognize it will kill jobs of utility and construction workers. It's backed largely by California environmentalists, who are joined by some business interests that hope to profit from the mandate. Even those who may support Prop 3's aims should recognize that the Constitution is not the place to set energy policy that could later be impacted by such things as the natural gas boom or new technologies. Vote no.
Generating 25 percent of Michigan’s energy through green means by 2025 is a great idea, but it is not scientifically possible or fiscally responsible. [...] On its face, the amendment seems like a good idea, but it is not practical. It would send jobs packing, and solar, wind and geo-thermal sources cannot yet replace coal, natural gas or nuclear energy. Voters should reject the proposal.
I am compelled to write now that special interest groups -- whether it's the millionaires pursuing new casinos, or the money behind the energy proposal -- are taking advantage of our legislative impasse. These powerful groups are attempting to avoid the proper way of making laws through our duly elected Legislature and Congress. These multimillion-dollar interest groups want to amend our state Constitution by placing self-serving laws on this fall's ballot.
You will be asked to amend the Michigan Constitution with a proposal called "25 x 25." This scheme would mandate that 25% of all energy produced for use in Michigan would be from the sun, wind or other renewable sources by the year 2025. This would allow this special interest group to put millions of dollars worth of wind turbines and solar generation all over Michigan's landscape, without any proof that such tremendous investment can be utilized or will be even needed after its installation.
The whole idea of adding renewable energy to Michigan's power needs has already been provided for in a proper law passed in 2008. After two years of thoughtful debate, the 2008 law, as passed, requires Michigan to generate 10% of its electricity from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and hydro by 2015, which is only three years from now.
In my considered judgment, this "25 x 25" proposal to amend the Constitution this fall is a reckless abuse of constitutional law and would take away our rights and flexibility to provide our families and corporations with reliable electrical service in the future.
“The constitution very clearly is not the place for energy policy,” said Schuette, the state’s leading legal adviser. “In fact, the constitution itself calls for the Michigan Legislature to set energy policy – in Article IV, Section 50 – so Michigan voters should be wary of this misguided attempt to do an end run around that wise provision.”
Schuette said the constitution is a foundational document that establishes long-standing basic rights and responsibilities.
“Energy policy, by contrast, must be regularly updated to ensure it meets evolving needs,” Schuette said. “Cementing a renewable energy standard into the constitution would make it virtually impossible for the state to quickly adapt to changing energy conditions – that’s why setting energy policy is the job of the Michigan Legislature, which approves laws that can be more readily adapted.
Michigan’s state constitution has worked fairly well for almost 50 years now. One reason is that it tried to avoid obligating future generations to shifting mandates that likely would need revising over and over. Dealing with changing needs is a job for lawmakers, not constitutions.
That’s also a key reason why voters should not support a proposal to write into the constitution a requirement that 25 percent of state electrical production come from alternative power by 2025.
I hate to sound alarmist, but if all the proposals whose backers submitted signatures make it on the ballot and are approved by the voters, the result will destroy representative democracy in Michigan. Not only that, our economy will probably be destroyed as well, and we will enter fully into the era of government of special interests, by special interests, and for special interests. [...]
What the men and women writing the Constitution didn’t foresee was an era in which special interests would pay millions of dollars to professional canvassers to persuaded voters to sign. [...]
There’s an amendment that would require utilities to get 25 percent of their energy from renewable sources within 12 years, whether that is possible or not. That sounds good, but could cause us to run short of electricity.
"I'm the new RNC elect Committeeman in Michigan and I totally disagree with Saul on this issue. This will lead to huge increases in your energy bills. Once again, someone will be subsidized with your tax dollars making huge profits at your expense and not producing the jobs they claim. It's an artificial stimulus program that will not work. Since our energy costs will skyrocket, businesses will locate elsewhere to avoid these costs. Instead of creating jobs, we'll lose them. This does not create an environment for businesses to want to come to Michigan. This is a recipe for lost jobs and higher energy costs for all involved. Follow the money and watch who gains."- State Rep. Dave Agema (R-Grandville), Republican National Commiteeman-Elect