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2007 Senate Bill 213: Authorize higher electric bills for non-nuclear “renewable” power

Public Act 295 of 2008

  1. Introduced by Sen. Patricia Birkholz (R) on February 20, 2007, to mandate that electric utilities acquire at least 4 percent of their power from “renewable” sources, growing to at least 8 percent by 2013. The Public Service Commission would be authorized to regulate the duration and terms of contracts under which utilities obtain such power, in general mandating that the contract be for at least 20 years (to allow the provider to get financing to establish the renewable source). The bill would also authorize trading of renewable energy “credits” between utilities that exceed or fall short of the mandated quantity, and would impose fines of $50 for each megawatt hour that a utility falls short in production or credits. Finally, it would require utilities to provide rebates to solar electricity generation providers, and to pay for these by tacking extra fees onto the electricity bills of customers. "Renewable energy" is defined as that generated by biomass, geothermal, solar, wind, hydroelectric, and gas captured from the decomposition of waste. It does not include nuclear power.
    • Referred to the Senate Energy Policy & Public Utilities Committee on February 20, 2007.
    • Substitute offered in the Senate on June 27, 2008. The substitute passed by voice vote in the Senate on June 27, 2008.
    • Substitute offered by Sen. Dennis Olshove (D) on June 27, 2008, to adopt a version of the bill that raises the amount of "renewable" energy sources utilities would be mandated to acquire. The substitute failed 16 to 20 in the Senate on June 27, 2008.
      Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  2. Failed 19 to 18 in the Senate on June 27, 2008, to mandate that electric utilities acquire at least 7 percent of their power from “renewable” and "clean" sources (including "carbon capture" coal plants) by 2015, and allow the costs to be passed on to customers. The bill would authorize income and business tax credits ($2 per month for indiduals, $11 for small business, $125 for large firms) to compensate for these more costly energy sources. It would also authorize trading of renewable energy “credits” between utilities that exceed or fall short of the mandated quantity; and establish expedited approval approval processes for wind-generated electric power; establish procedures for ending the cross-subsidation of residential gas customers by commercial ones; and more. See also House Bill 5524, which mostly repeals the 2000 law authorizing competition between electricity producers.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Moved to reconsider by Sen. Alan L. Cropsey (R) on June 27, 2008, the vote by which the bill was defeated. The motion passed by voice vote in the Senate on June 27, 2008.
  4. Received in the Senate on June 27, 2008.
  5. Passed 20 to 15 in the Senate on June 27, 2008, to mandate that electric utilities acquire at least 7 percent of their power from “renewable” and "clean" sources (including "carbon capture" coal plants) by 2015, and allow the costs to be passed on to customers. The bill would authorize income and business tax credits ($2 per month for indiduals, $11 for small business, $125 for large firms) to compensate for these more costly energy sources. It would also authorize trading of renewable energy “credits” between utilities that exceed or fall short of the mandated quantity; and establish expedited approval approval processes for wind-generated electric power; establish procedures for ending the cross-subsidation of residential gas customers by commercial ones; and more. See also House Bill 5524, which mostly repeals the 2000 law authorizing competition between electricity producers.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  6. Received in the House on July 16, 2008.
    • Referred to the House Energy and Technology Committee on July 16, 2008.
    • Substitute offered by Rep. Frank Accavitti, Jr. (D) on July 23, 2008, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that contains the higher "renewable energy" mandates of House Bill 5548 and related bills. The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on July 23, 2008.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Matthew Gillard (D) on July 23, 2008, to tie-bar the bill to House Bill 5524, meaning this bill cannot become law unless that one does also. HB 5524 would mostly end the state’s electric competition law that allows customers to choose an alternative provider. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on July 23, 2008.
  7. Passed 86 to 21 in the House on July 23, 2008, to mandate that Michigan electric utilities acquire 10 percent of their power from "renewable" sources by the end of 2015. The bill's provisions are essentially the same as House Bill 5548. The bill is tie-barred to House Bill 5524, which would mostly end the state’s electric competition law that allows customers to choose an alternative provider.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  8. Received in the Senate on July 24, 2008.
  9. Failed 10 to 18 in the Senate on July 24, 2008, to not concur with the House-passed version of the bill, which is essentially the same as House Bill 5548 in imposing a 10 percent "renewables" mandate with more rigid definitions.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  10. Received in the House on August 13, 2008.
  11. Passed 83 to 24 in the House on September 18, 2008, to adopt a compromise version of the bill reported by a House-Senate conference committee. This would impose a 10 percent “renewable” energy mandate on electric utilities by 2015, including solar, biomass, wind, hydro, geothermal, advanced coal systems and more. The Public Service Commission would have the authority to suspend the mandate if it judges the extra cost on utilities to be too high, and utilities could not raise monthly bills more than $3 for residential customers, $16.58 for small business and $187.50 for larger firms. Temporary, means-tested income tax credits would be available to partially offset these price hikes (see Senate Bill 1048). The bill is tie-barred to House Bill 5524, which would guarantee DTE and Consumers Power at least 90 percent of the utility business in the areas they serve, and which phases out over five years a current law requiring commercial electricity users to subsidize residential rates.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  12. Received in the Senate on September 18, 2008.
  13. Passed 26 to 10 in the Senate on September 18, 2008, to adopt a compromise version of the bill reported by a House-Senate conference committee. This would impose a 10 percent “renewable” energy mandate on electric utilities by 2015, including solar, biomass, wind, hydro, geothermal, advanced coal systems and more. The Public Service Commission would have the authority to suspend the mandate if it judges the extra cost on utilities to be too high, and utilities could not raise monthly bills more than $3 for residential customers, $16.58 for small business and $187.50 for larger firms. Temporary, means-tested income tax credits would be available to partially offset these price hikes (see Senate Bill 1048). The bill is tie-barred to House Bill 5524, which would guarantee DTE and Consumers Power at least 90 percent of the utility business in the areas they serve, and which phases out over five years a current law requiring commercial electricity users to subsidize residential rates.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  14. Signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm on October 6, 2008.

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