Michigan Passes Landmark 100 Percent Clean Energy Standard

Michigan legislators deliver historic climate win, send clean energy and siting packages to Gov. Whitmer’s desk for signature

In response to the full legislative passage of a 100 percent clean energy standard in Michigan by 2040, Evergreen Action Midwest Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager Courtney Bourgoin released the following statement:

“Today, Michigan led the industrial heartland and the country towards a clean and prosperous economy. By enacting a 100 percent clean energy standard, Michigan will significantly cut climate pollution, save people money, and be on track to secure billions of dollars in clean energy investments being driven by the Inflation Reduction Act. This package will create quality jobs by having the strongest labor standards included in a climate package nationwide—showing that clean energy investment and good-paying jobs go hand-in-hand.

“We’re grateful for the bill sponsors’ tireless work in getting this legislation passed and onto Governor Whitmer’s desk for signature. The Clean Energy Future Plan, in tandem with the siting package also passed through the Legislature today, will build a strong foundation for clean energy to blossom in Michigan. Together, these policies will stimulate local economies, lower energy prices for families and businesses across the states, and slash harmful pollution. But there is still more work to do. The momentum of this passage must carry forward to action to ensure utility companies are meeting these goals by protecting communities from dirty energy sources, passing on cost savings from clean energy to their customers, and operating more transparently." 

Once the Clean Energy Future Plan package is signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan will become the next state to enact a 100 percent clean energy standard. Other policies in the package include an increased energy waste reduction target and a bill that would allow the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to better regulate utilities for energy affordability, reliability, and climate considerations in the integrated resource planning (IRP) process.

Critical companion legislation also passed alongside the Clean Energy Plan, including a package that will modernize the wind and solar siting process, which includes establishing community benefits agreements for places where the projects are sited. The Legislature also voted to create a community and worker economic transition office within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) at the state level. The office would seek to aid workers and communities whose jobs are impacted in the transition from fossil fuel energy to renewable sources.

Earlier this year, Evergreen Action and the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council unveiled a report from 5 Lakes Energy detailing the economic benefits of passing a clean energy standard and other climate policies. The report found that in addition to saving Michigan households an average of $145 a year in energy costs, policies like the ones in the package and additional measures would secure $7.8 billion more in federal investment from the Inflation Reduction Act and drive the creation of nearly 160,000 quality jobs. 

In addition to the economic benefits, 100 percent clean energy is also extremely popular among Michigan voters. In a Data for Progress poll released in April, 65 percent of voters supported legislation to transition the state’s energy grid to 100 percent clean energy and 73 percent of polled voters want the Legislature to do more to keep energy bills affordable. Michigan ranks 10th nationally among all states for climate pollution, making a clean power sector essential for both state and national climate commitments.