The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce opposes Proposal 3, the Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs (MEMJ) ballot initiative known as 25 x ’25 and has joined the Michigan Clean Affordable Renewable Energy (CARE) coalition. The November 6, 2012 ballot initiative proposes a constitutional amendment that would require utility companies to obtain at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.

Chief among our reasons for opposition is that the proposal seeks to amend the state constitution but has little to do with basic human rights.

We believe that energy requirements do not belong in the Michigan Constitution and the proper way to revise an energy policy is through the legislative process.  In addition, the energy standards that the MEMJ wants to impose appear to be random and very costly. Energy experts estimate that it would cost $12 billion to implement. Expenses of this magnitude would likely raise electric rates and result in increased costs to Michigan businesses and families for energy consumption.

Michigan already has an established renewable energy standard; utility companies must provide 10 percent from renewable sources by 2015. We are supportive of the standard and believe the state should stay on this course.  Michigan residents should first assess the state’s performance on the current plan in 2015; and then, based on the level of success decide if the requirements should be adjusted for subsequent years.

For the reasons stated above, the Flint & Genesee Chamber and its Public Policy Committee join a multitude of businesses, chambers and other organizations that are opposed to 25 x ‘25. We are recommending that our boards and members vote “no” on this ballot initiative in November.

For more information on this issue, please visit CARE’s website

Note: The Flint & Genesee Chamber is highly supportive of renewable energy and has made a commitment to pursue green energy programs for our members and the community at large. We have high expectations that our E3 Innovation Network and other green partnerships will drive business investment and create jobs in Flint and Genesee County.