Proposal 3: Renewable energy mandate 25% by 2025

Trenton Kronemeyer
ThunderHawk Staff Writer 

One thing voters will be asked to decide on election day this year is Ballot Proposal 3. The proposal is to decide whether or not Michigan should amend the state constitution to mandate that by 2015 energy companies have to have 25% of their retail sales be from renewable energy sources. Some examples of renewable energy would be solar, hydro, and wind power sources.

According to, supporters of this proposal include Michigan Energy and Michigan Jobs, where the opponents are led by a group called C.A.R.E.(Clean Affordable Renewable Energy for Michigan Coalition).

One argument supporters use is that they claim 40,000 new jobs would be created if it passes. They also believe it would attract $10 billion in new investments for the State of Michigan. That would be a huge boost in our struggling economy if it worked as planned.

Another point supporters of Proposal 3 are using is that it wouldn’t cost the citizens of Michigan very much money at all – only around $1.25 per month. Also, other Midwestern states such as Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota have used plans similar to this with success.

The League of Women Voters had this to say about it: “Using more wind and solar energy will reduce pollution and give Michigan cleaner and healthier air and water, protect the Great Lakes, reduce asthma and lung disease, and ultimately save lives.”

The Michigan Nurses Association also endorses the proposal. They point to scientists who say that by passing proposal 3 it will reduce pollution in the air and water and therefore it will improve the overall health of the public. (see link here)

One argument people opposed to Proposal 3 are using is that it is an unreasonable goal to put into the constitution and that it hasn’t been thought through enough. They say there may not even be enough proof to prove that these renewable sources will provide the energy they claim, and once they are installed they will clutter the landscape yet could be ineffective sources of energy. They also say that it has not been proven that an investment this large could even be utilized.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is against the proposal.

“Current law sets a goal of generating 10 percent of electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydro and biomass by 2015,” Gov. Snyder said. “This is a standard that’s already difficult to meet. Proposal Three would set the bar even higher – and we would be the only state to have such a mandate in our constitution.”

That argument falls on deaf ears with Proposal 3 spokesman Mark Fisk.

“DTE and Consumers Energy went kicking and screaming to the currently paltry standard of 10%,” Mr. Fisk said, which is why he believes in this proposal.

Local Hamilton citizen Pam Schreiber is not in support of Proposal 3.

“This is too important for Lansing politicians to decide. We need to let the people decide.,” Mrs. Schreiber said, adding that “I agree we need to use more renewable energy, but do not see the need to put it into our constitution. The only way to change something in the constitution is you have to go back to the voters, but makes it less flexible for something complicated like energy policy.”

So now that you know the facts on Proposal 3, you can vote with confidence on election day. Remember, voting ‘Yes’ means that by 2025, 25% of every energy companies sales must come from renewable energy.

Voting ‘No’ means it will not be added into the constitution and the current mandate of using 10% renewable energy by 2015 will be the law.

– Madison Schreiber and Tabitha Bennet contributed to this story.


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