(The Center Square) – Days after the Michigan House and Senate passed a plan for the state to use 100% clean energy by 2040, Rep. Dylan Wegela, D-Garden City, said a goal of reaching 100% green energy by 2040 is “simply too late.”
“The problem is this legislation [SB271] is going to be billed as 100% clean energy, and that’s just false,” Wegela said in a statement. “This legislation had carveout exceptions for natural gas, carbon capture and even a trash incinerator. None of these are carbon free or clean, and all of them disproportionately impact communities of lower income and communities of color. 100% green energy by 2040 is simply too late. We need a Green New Deal.”
The Senate still must enroll the bill, Senate Bill 271, before sending it to the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
A rally was held by the Green New Deal Network, Michigan Alliance for Justice In Climate, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, and EJ Caucus Michigan at the UAW Local 600 Hall in Dearborn.
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib called on President Joe Biden to combat climate change by spending $1 trillion yearly through 2030, saying that “the climate crisis” is already here in Michigan cities.
“We need a Green New Deal now because it’s the only climate justice solution that fights this crisis at the massive scale we need,” Tlaib said in a statement. “We should put thousands of Michiganders to work in good union jobs building renewable energy infrastructure and climate mitigations we need to not just survive but thrive!”
The tour will stop in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Missouri, California, Illinois, Minnesota and Massachusetts.
Last month, Democrats introduced a plan to make polluters pay for land and water restoration and require businesses with large amounts of potentially polluting materials to post up-front financial assurance to cover any cleanup.
“This fight isn’t just about climate – it’s about economic and social justice. It’s about liberation,” Wegela said in a statement. “Since 1988, just 100 companies have been responsible for 71% of greenhouse gas emissions. This fight is about corporate influence over our political system. We have to demand a cleaner world, accountability, elected officials who put people and the planet over corporations.”
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy says the 2040 carbon-neutral plan will add $200 billion in costs for ratepayers.
“The energy plan being pushed by the Michigan Legislature would raise electricity rates by potentially thousands of dollars per year for the typical ratepayer, with much of that going to profits for monopoly utilities,” MCPP Director of Energy and Environmental Policy Jason Hayes said in a statement. “It would litter the state with windmills and solar panels, often against the will of local communities, and virtually have zero effect on global climate.”
Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud said Dearborn is “the asthma epicenter” of Michigan. He supports the green spending.
“Each and every decision that we make at the city or any level of government is a public health decision,” Hammoud said in a statement. “We have spent over 7 million dollars in this neighborhood to put forth more green investment; we’re building brand new parks; we’re rebuilding our pools because we know that pools and parks are public health tools. We no longer want to sit back and see what corporations are going to do or what legislation’s coming down that’s going to impact us; we’re going to be proactive.”