LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. John Damoose, R-Harbor Springs, issued the following statement Wednesday after the Senate approved two proposals that allow the Michigan Public Service Commission to overhaul local decision-making regarding wind and solar developments:
“These bills try to give an appearance of local involvement in approving large-scale wind and solar facilities, but it is just window dressing. Instead, they do nothing but strip critical decision-making authority from local governments and have the power to affect communities for generations.
“Proponents of these extreme energy overhauls that require reliance on wind and solar knew communities wouldn’t want to be packed full of wind farms and solar panels, so they had to introduce more bills that give the state the power to overrule local communities if they say they don’t want them.
“For these developments, the legislation would require public meetings and a long, drawn out dog and pony show to make those participating feel like their opinion matters. The reality is the Michigan Public Service Commission gets the final say, and despite local pushback or concerns, these bills allow state government to bulldoze their way into city halls across the state and claim: ‘We know best.’ Local governments have an opportunity to provide input, but the outcome is predetermined. The only authority that locals maintain in this power grab is the ability to say yes.
“I voted no because the bills usurp local authority, endanger thousands and thousands of acres of farmland, and to no surprise, will only affect rural areas of the state, like those in the 37th Senate District.”