December 3, 2016

Proposal 3 Is a Power Grab

It was a privilege for me to serve as Michigan’s Attorney General for 37 years. During that period of service to the people of Michigan I gained in-depth experience in the fields of constitutional law, consumer protection and environmental protection. I also was able to acquire knowledge in the field of regulatory law governing public utilities and other corporations, public and private.

Like you, I am worried about extreme partisanship in our politics, which is causing our citizens to be confused and disappointed with our government.

I am compelled to write now that special interest groups—whether it’s the millionaires pursuing new casinos, or the money behind the energy proposal—are taking advantage of our present legislative impasse. These powerful groups are attempting to avoid the proper way of making laws through our duly elected legislature and congress. These multi-million dollar interest groups want to amend our state constitution by placing a single self-serving law on this fall’s ballot.

You will be asked to amend the Michigan Constitution with a proposal called “25 x 25” [Proposal 3]. This scheme would mandate that 25 percent of all energy produced for use in Michigan would be from the sun or the wind by the year 2025. This would allow this special interest group to put millions of dollars worth of wind turbines and solar generation all over Michigan’s landscape, without any proof that such tremendous investment can be utilized or will be even needed after its installation.

The whole idea of adding renewable energy to Michigan’s power needs has already been provided for in a proper law passed in 2008. After two years of thoughtful debate, the 2008 law, as passed, requires Michigan to generate 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and hydro by 2015, which is only three years from now.

In my considered judgment, this “25 x 25” special interest proposal to amend the constitution this fall is a reckless abuse of constitutional law and would take away our rights and flexibility to provide our families and corporations with reliable electrical service in the future.

The constitution is a document that provides what powers our government can have and what rights of freedom we citizens of that government can enjoy. The constitution is not to be used for passing independent laws for enriching special interest groups by granting them uncontrolled power.

I am backed-up in my view of this matter by Abraham Lincoln, who said: “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

Take it from me, “25 x 25” is a power grab and against our interests. It should be opposed by every thoughtful citizen.

Respectfully submitted,
Hon. Frank Kelley
Former Michigan Attorney General

Comments

  1. David Anderson says:

    With due respect to the Hon. Frank Kelley, I do not think Lincoln was referring to Michigan’s current state Constitution, which was after all created in 1963 – nearly 100 years after Lincoln’s death.

    A September 5, 2012, Michigan Supreme Court ruling on ballot initiatives that found the state Constitution “has always reserved to the people the right to enact any law the Legislature could enact…”

    If you agree with the state’s highest court, this means voters AND the legislature have the right to enact energy policy, and make laws that protect public health and natural resources from pollution, under Article IV, Section 50-52.

    It appears to me the framers of Michigan’s 1963 Constitution placed a great deal of trust in voters to use the ballot to enact laws just like Proposal 3.

    As Article I, Section 1 states, “All political power is inherent in the people.”

    Perhaps it is opponents of Prop 3 who are trying to rewrite Michigan’s Constitution, and politicize this foundational document for their own gain.

  2. I have a handicapped daughter who lives in Van Buren County so she has to have Midwest Energy for her electric company. They charges her more in fee’s than her actual electric Bill. He fee’s, tax and everything they could possibl6y think of to charge a fee for, was actually more than her bill. She is disabled, and tries to keep her bill down because she is on a fixed income and ihas been sick with cancer on and off for past 10 years. I think this is just gougeing, and someone needs to do something about it. I have AEP and they never do that to me. Where is the justice, there is none, just greed.