MAC joins campaign to repeal state control of energy siting

The MAC Board of Directors has voted to join the Citizens for Local Choice, a coalition of groups pushing for a statewide vote to repeal sections of a state law that put an unelected state panel in final charge of siting of energy generation facilities.

“What we have heard from our own counties, and from colleagues across the state, is that this law enacted last year is a clear attack on local control, an attack Michigan’s 83 counties cannot to continue,” said Jim Storey, president of the MAC Board of Directors and chair of the Allegan County Board. MAC is aware of at least nine counties that already have passed resolutions in support of the ballot campaign.

MAC consistently opposed the act as it worked its way through the State Capitol last year, testifying on the consequences of usurping local control and suggesting changes that could facilitate the generation of clean energy without making the state Public Service Commission the final answer on local land use.

“It’s unfortunate we have reached this point, but this measure is so ill-conceived, so counter to the interests of communities and good governance, that MAC has to take this stand,” added Stephan Currie, executive director.

What’s next?

MAC encourages county leaders to support the coalition’s work in several ways:

  1. Pass a county resolution in support of it. The coalition has a template you can use for this purpose. Click here for it.

  2. Consider circulating petitions for it. Click here to request a petition from the coalition. (Please note there are specific rules on the collection process, so be sure to familiarize yourself with them; the coalition has text and video briefings on that process.)

The coalition now has petitions in the field to collect the 550,000 signatures the group thinks is advisable to meet state requirements for ballot proposals. Only 356,958 valid signatures are needed under state law, but the coalition has set a higher goal to ensure the legal requirement is easily met.)

Time is short, though, as the deadline to collect signatures is approaching on May 29, the deadline to reach the November 2024 ballot.

  1. Contact your county captain or volunteer to be one. The coalition has at least one county captain in 62 counties, but more are needed, particularly in Southeast Michigan. To volunteer as one, sign up on the website or send a note to citizensforlocalchoice@gmail.com.

  2. Donate to the campaign. While the coalition is having success using volunteer petition collectors and not using paid ones, unlike other ballot efforts, a full statewide campaign to convince voters this fall will not come cheap. To donate directly to the coalition, click here.

For more information on MAC’s work in defense of local control, contact Director of Governmental Affairs Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org.

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