News Story

Michigan clean energy bill has been through 8 drafts, but none are public

Bill submitted in April headed toward 9th revision, but original bill is all the public can see

Senate Bill 271, as it exists in Lansing, creates a 100% clean energy mandate in Michigan by 2040. Lawmakers and lobbyists have seen revised versions of the bill — there have been eight such revisions since it was submitted in April. Another bill, Senate Bill 273, has gone through five drafts, said Sen. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing at Wednesday’s Senate energy committee meeting.

Singh updated his colleagues on the two senate bills at the start of the three-hour meeting. His remarks shed light on the bill revision process the public is not privy to. 

Senate Bill 271, as it exists to the outside world, is the bill State Sen. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor, submitted in April. It requires a 100% clean energy transition by 2035. As the legislature’s website notes: “Introduced bills appear as they were introduced and reflect no subsequent amendments or changes.”

The old version of the bill is what the Senate Fiscal Agency analyzed in June. But that’s not what lawmakers will vote on when the revised bill arrives in committee. And it’s not the version of the bill the public can access online.

Geiss and Singh testified before the Senate energy committee last week. That’s when Geiss said the timetable for the energy transition had been moved back to 2040.

Since then, meetings have been held on the bill, feedback has been offered, and revisions have been made, Singh told the committee Wednesday. But the revised bill was still not ready for committee consideration.

“We’re still taking feedback on those bills,” said energy committee chair Sen. Sean McCann, D-Kalamazoo, at Wednesday’s meeting.

As available to the public, Senate Bill 271 takes two different positions on nuclear energy. From 2035 on, nuclear energy would count as renewable. 

“Renewable energy resource does not include petroleum, nuclear, natural gas, or coal” prior to 2035, the bill says.

“A renewable energy resource comes from the sun or from thermal inertia of the earth and minimizes the output of toxic material in the conversion of the energy,” the bill continues.

Wind and solar count as renewable. But not nuclear. Not until 2035. As far as the public knows. 

Another draft of Senate Bill 271 could be done “by the end of the week,” Singh told colleagues.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.