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Michigan Legislature still lacks energy reliability bills, but House hearing comes Wednesday

Lawmakers promised oversight for Michigan’s biggest utility companies, then rammed through right-to-work repeal instead

In one week, the 102nd Legislature doubled the number of bills relating to energy, from three to six.

But after back-to-back ice storms and thundersnow caused massive power outages in Michigan, the strong talk of Michigan lawmakers has yet to be matched with legislation that would improve energy reliability. House Democratic leaders from Speaker Joe Tate to Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash have spoken of the need for reform. But no bills along those lines have materialized.

Last week, rather than advance energy reliability, the Michigan House spent its time approving two right-to-work repeal bills, including one version that is baldly unconstitutional.

Last week: Energy reliability is not on the agenda in the Michigan Legislature

Perhaps that will change in the weeks to come. On Wednesday, the Michigan House Energy Committee will hold its first hearing on the mass outages.

Per the Detroit News, officials from DTE Energy and Consumers Energy are expected to testify, as well as Dan Scripps, chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission, which regulates Michigan utilities.

Three energy-related bills were submitted in the last week. Two are Senate bills on community solar. They are tie-barred together; both need to pass for either bill to take effect.

A third bill would allow unlimited participation in “distributed generation.”

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.