Democratic State Rep. Sam Singh of East Lansing has been playing a key role advancing important House energy proposals. Debate on the measures, which could significantly alter energy efficiency, renewable energy and electric choice will increase soon. We talk with Rep. Singh about what's ahead.
State legislators are gradually approaching votes that will determine the future of Michigan energy policies. For months, legislators have been debating energy efficiency, renewables and consumer choice in the electric market.
As House Democratic Floor Leader, East Lansing State Representative Sam Singh is playing a role in the creation of these proposals.
The freshman Democrat and former East Lansing city councilman and Mayor tells Current State that he’s pleased with the measures now awaiting more vigorous debate on the house floor.
EDITED INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS
There are two energy bills in both the House and the Senate. How would these bills address energy efficiency?
One of the great hallmarks of the 2008 law (required) public utilities…to work on energy efficiencies. They work with the homeowner to make their home more energy efficient. They work with the business to make it more energy efficient. Right now, I think the compromise is that there’s a range from 1 to 3 percent.
Since we’ve enacted this legislation, we’ve actually saved $3.4 billion through energy efficiency. The public service commission….says that for every dollar we invest in energy efficiency, the consumer…saves anywhere from $3 to $4 on used energy costs. It’s something the governor has talked very extensively about in his goals is to try to reduce energy waste.
What do you think about Governor Snyder’s recent decision to halt efforts to admit more Syrian refugees in Michigan?
I was surprised to see him make a statement that didn’t try to educate the public here in Michigan. As we know, taking in refugees is a very extensive process. It often takes anywhere from two to three years to get refugee status and it’s not only the country, the U.S. government involved in the department of national security, it’s also the UN. To somehow think that his decision to pause this (program) would not be part of a national and international narrative I think was naïve on his part and the people that influence his decisions.