Michigan voters soundly defeated Proposal 3, a ballot initiative that would have increased the state’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent by 2025 – and sent supporters of expanding wind farms and solar plants back to the drawing board.
“Voters clearly recognized that the state’s constitution is not the place for costly energy policy,” said Howard Edelson, campaign manager for the Clean Affordable Renewable Energy for Michigan Coalition, which was primarily funded by DTE Energy and Consumers Energy.
“The overwhelming rejection of Proposal 3 is an endorsement that the state’s existing energy policy is working,” Edelson said.
In 2008, the state legislature approved a bi-partisan bill that required the utility companies to produce 10 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015.
Mark Fisk, spokesman for Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs, which supported the initiative, said the coalition plans to regroup over the next few months to plan the next steps.
“We are disappointed in tonight’s results. Big Energy monopolies outspent us and used fear tactics in TV and radio ads to intimidate voters and create a poison cloud,” Fisk said. “We plan to keep advocating for renewable energy.”
The Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs coalition of environmental, business and health organizations that supported the proposal that was largely funded by a California hedge fund investor.
Most observers believe the environmental-led coalition will lobby the state legislature in 2015 to consider extending the existing renewable energy standard for another 10 years.
At midnight, Proposal 3 had 1,064,181 votes against (64 percent) and 598,422 votes for the measure, with 34 percent of precincts statewide reporting.