Tensions high in townhall about energy laws

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:44 PM EST
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MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Frustration is mounting over a newly passed energy package.

It caused Marquette Township officials and other local government leaders to hold a town hall on Monday.

“This is about the future of the Upper Peninsula,” Margaret Brumm, (D) 109th District candidate, said. “This is about all of these people. Okay, you stand there, and you act like it’s no big deal a lot more than cold beer and warm showers How dare you?”

Brumm’s comment came after Representative Jenn Hill discussed what she thinks average U.P. residents care about when it comes to energy consumption.

Brumm plans to challenge Hill in a primary next year.

Meantime, Forsyth Township Supervisor Joe Boogren left Monday’s meeting after he felt questions were not being answered about the newly passed energy package.

“We can read. We’re not as dumb as you think we are or make us out to be, and we wanted to talk to you as elected officials to elected official and ask you questions that mean something, not go for this,” Boogren said.

Boogren lost to Hill in a primary last year.

As the energy package awaits the governor’s expected signature, Marquette Board of Light and Power Chair John Prince says there was a lack of local input.

“To be honest with you, Representative Hill, I find it a little bit awkward that there has been no conversation with our administration or staff about this bill at all,” Prince said.

Hill says these conversations have occurred over years.

“Going back to ‘why are people frustrated?’ it’s like ‘but wait, how did this change happen?’ Well, it’s been coming along gradually and all the sudden it becomes more apparent, and it can be a little bumpy and rocky but it’s important to have these conversations like we did today,” Hill said.

Republican Senator Ed McBroom voted against the package. He says Monday’s frustrations are a reminder for all lawmakers.

“Make sure that you rope in your local officials before you make decisions on bills particularly a local officials who are responsible for the power and, and jobs that so many of our constituents are part of you know, and I think you saw the frustration today of those who felt like that hadn’t been done before these bills were supported,” McBroom said.

To find out how much the change to renewable energy will cost U.P. residents, Hill says a study is being conducted. It will be finished by December 2024.

Learn more about these bills here.