Michigan Dems Big Foot the Locals


When it comes to zoning and property rights in rural America, Big Wind and Big Solar can count on Democratic legislators to carry their water.

The latest proof of that came on November 3, when Democratic legislators in the Michigan House of Representatives, on a party-line vote, passed two bills that will give bureaucrats in Lansing the authority to site wind and solar projects. Identical bills passed the state’s senate, again, on a party-line vote. One Michigan media outlet explained that the measures will “let state regulators override local decisions about where to allow large-scale wind and solar arrays. The bills, which pitted environmentalists against local government advocates, passed narrowly along party lines, 20 to 18, with unanimous support from the Senate Democratic majority.”

Last week, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, signed the bills into law. In addition, she signed a measure requiring utilities in the state to sell 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.

In passing the legislation, Michigan became the fourth state controlled by Democrats to strip rural communities of their zoning authority and give it to bureaucrats in their respective state capitals. In doing so, it follows California, New York, and most recently, Illinois. In January, that state’s governor, Jay Pritzker, a Democrat, signed into law a measure that “prevents counties from enacting preemptive local ordinances that outright ban local wind and solar projects.” That quote comes from a press release issued by the Illinois Environmental Council, which carried the headline, “Gov. Pritzker Signs Legislation Protecting Clean Energy Projects.”

The IEC’s press release headline shows how far environmental protection has strayed from its traditional roots.

Today, it’s not people or the environment that need protecting. It’s clean energy projects that need protecting. It must also be noted that the IEC, like the Sierra Club, is stridently anti-nuclear. Earlier this year, both groups lobbied to prevent Illinois from lifting its decades-old ban on new nuclear power plants.

Indeed, this big footing of local communities in Democratic states in favor of Big Solar and Big Wind is the quintessence of centralization of political power. It’s not just the centralization of power for the sake of politics; it’s the centralization of power in service of the NGO-industrial-corporate-climate complex. It’s centralization of power in the name of climatisim and renewable energy fetishism. It’s centralization of power that benefits big business, big law firms, and big banks and allows them to extract more rent (read tax credits) from the government.

Read the rest of this piece at Robert Bryce Substack.

Robert Bryce is a Texas-based author, journalist, film producer, and podcaster. His articles have appeared in a myriad of publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Time, Austin Chronicle, and Sydney Morning Herald.

Photo: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with legislators at a ceremony on November 28, at which she signed legislation that strips local communities of their zoning authority over large wind and solar projects. Photo: Bridge Michigan, Janelle D. James.