House Energy chair: Utility regulators may violate new state energy law

Glenn says MPSC abuse of authority could cost public schools and manufacturers hundreds of millions in higher energy costs each year, taking money out of the classroom and making Michigan less competitive for new jobs

Lansing, Mich. -- Associate Speaker Pro Tem and House Energy Policy Chairman Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Larkin Twp., Thursday said the Michigan Public Service Commission is preparing next month to adopt a policy that would violate state and federal energy law and drive up electricity rates -- already highest in the Midwest -- for thousands of public schools and major employers. The move would take tens of millions of dollars out of the classroom each year, Glenn said, and make Michigan's economy less competitive for new business, industry, and jobs.

"This is clearly a back door attempt by unelected bureaucrats to eliminate Michigan's Electricity Choice program by bureaucratic regulation, a protectionist scheme that was pushed by the state's two monopoly utilities in the last legislative session but was expressly rejected by the people's elected representatives," Glenn said.

He said the Public Service Commission "has no legal authority to just make it up as they go along to serve the financial interests of the state's two monopoly utilities, in direct violation of the plain language, spirit, and intent of state and federal law, and at the cost of hundreds of millions in higher electricity costs each year to Michigan schools and businesses."

Glenn says in an August 1st order, Public Service Commissioners instructed staff to develop policy that threatens to require electricity choice providers who compete with the state's two regional monopolies -- Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison -- to prove they can supply their customers using only electricity that's generated in Michigan. Final adoption of the policy is scheduled for September 28th.

"That's like passing a law telling Michigan families, businesses, and schools we can only buy food or products that are grown or made in Michigan, no matter how much higher the price may be out of our family or business or local school budgets," Glenn said. "Our objective should be just the opposite -- to save electricity users as much money as possible, and make Michigan as competitive for new business and industry and jobs as possible, by providing customers the cheapest electricity possible, regardless of whether it comes from a wind farm in North Dakota or an oil well in Texas."

Such a "local clearing requirement" would force competing electricity providers to buy more expensive energy generated in Michigan, which threatens tens of millions in higher costs each year to public schools alone.

In a July 13th letter to the Public Service Commission, the Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative said it "has saved Michigan schools over $140 million -- or $35 per student per year -- through the (Electricity Choice) program, dollars that are returned directly back into the classroom."

The cooperative's membership includes Michigan Association of Independent School Administrators, Michigan Association of School Administrators, Michigan Association of School Boards, Michigan School Business Officials, and Middle Cities Education Association.

"We are certain that the Commission understands that many of the original legislative drafts...included a 'local clearing requirement' (later eliminated from the legislation) that would require alternative electric suppliers to buy all or mostly all of their capacity locally in Michigan," wrote cooperative Secretary-Treasurer Raymond Telman. "As you know, that language would have effectively eliminated the Electric Choice program, as DTE and Consumers own or have purchased virtually all local capacity and could and would either refuse to sell to AESs or sell to AESs at an above market price."

Glenn also cited a July 25th letter to the Public Service Commission by House Majority Whip Rep. Rob Verheulen, R-Walker, and Rep. Chris Afendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Twp., the primary sponsors of the compromise energy package approved by the Legislature in December and signed into law.

The legislation "deliberately removed this contentious ('local clearing requirement') language and in doing so, a compromise was reached," Verheulen and Afendoulis wrote. "The final language clearly allows Alternative Energy Suppliers to use any resource allowed by (the Midwest's federally-regulated regional electricity grid manager, Midcontinent Independent System Operator) to meet capacity obligations without reference to local resources."

"We have strong concerns that the imposition by the Commission of any requirements on AESs in excess of those MISO requires...violates the legislative intent of PA 341 and will place a significant additional burden on schools and businesses in our districts and all across Michigan," they wrote. "It will also threaten the sustainability of the (Electricity Choice) program, the viability and continuation of which was a primary goal of the legislation."

The proposed local generation requirement would directly violate not only the new state energy law, but federal regulations as well, Glenn said, both of which expressly state -- as Reps. Afendoulis and Verheulen referenced -- that a competing electricity provider "can meet its capacity obligations through owned or contractual rights to any resource that the appropriate independent system operator allows to meet the capacity obligation of the electric provider." MISO does not require competing energy suppliers that sell to Michigan customers to sell only electricity that's generated in Michigan.

But the Public Services Commission ignored clear statements of legislative intent and state and federal law, declaring exactly the opposite of the legislative record and text: "The Commission found that a locational requirement is required under (the new state law) and that a locational requirement applicable to individual (competing energy suppliers) is allowed as part of the capacity obligations set forth by the Commission." (See item 3 at: http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,4639,7-159-80741_80743-406252--,00.html )

If competing energy suppliers are no longer allowed to sell cheaper electricity generated out of state and imported into Michigan, Kalamazoo Public Schools, as just one example, could be forced to spend $1 million more each year for electricity, taking that same amount out of the classroom, Glenn said.

Such a move would violate not only state and federal laws and regulations and give monopoly utilities the ability to squeeze their cheaper competitors out of business, Glenn said, but would constitute an unauthorized assumption of law-making power by Public Service Commissioners that simply does not exist in state law.

He cited a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling in a 1993 lawsuit against the PSC by Midland Cogeneration Venture, the largest gas-fueled electricity and steam producing facility in North America, which is located in the legislative district Glenn represents. The Court ruled that the Public Service Commission "possesses no common law powers but is a creature of the Legislature, and all of its authority must be conferred by clear and unmistakable language in specific statutory enactments, because doubtful power does not exist.” Midland Cogeneration Venture v. Public Service Commission, 199 Mich App 286, 295–96 (1993)

The Court of Appeals also ruled in 1999 that “where the Legislature has considered certain language and rejected it in favor of other language, the resulting statutory language should not be held to explicitly authorize what the Legislature explicitly rejected.” MCI Telecom Complaint, 460 Mich 396, 415 (1999).

The following public school and major manufacturing organizations, among others, have also sent letters to the Public Service Commission sharing Glenn's view that the PSC should not attempt to impose a local generation requirement for electricity sold in Michigan, a move they all said would be harmful to electricity users and Michigan's economy:

See the complete record at: http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,4639,7-159-80741_80743-406252--,00.html

* Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity, a group of major manufacturers whose combined electricity and gas bills exceed $1 billion a year in Michigan alone: ABATE's membership includes Dow Chemical Company, the largest employer in Glenn's legislative district, for whom electricity is the single biggest cost of doing business, and nearby Hemlock Semiconductor, the largest consumer of electricity in Michigan. The group also includes General Motors, Marathon Petroleum, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, and U.S. Steel.

* Michigan Chemistry Council, of which The Dow Chemical Company is also a member.

* The Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

* The Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce

* Spartan Stores

Glenn said if the PSC proceeds with plans to violate state and federal law and exceed its legal authority, lawsuits in federal and state court are a certainty. "I will recommend that the Legislature itself go to court, if necessary, to reassert that energy policy in Michigan will be set by the Legislature, who are elected by and accountable to the people, and not by an appointed bureaucracy that seems intent on advancing the financial self interests of two corporate monopolies at the expense of Michigan ratepayers and our economy."


MLive: Rep. Gary Glenn calls out Bay City commissioner for Facebook comment

BAY CITY, MI -- A member of the Bay City Commission is being called out by a state representative for comments he made about the Republican Speaker of the House.

State Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, is asking Bay City Commissioner Ed Clements, 8th Ward, to apologize for a comment he made on the page of state Rep. Brian Elder, D-Bay City, about state Rep. Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt.

"Why is Tom Leonard allowed to live?" Clements wrote in the comments section on Wednesday, June 21, under a link to a Detroit News article about tax incentives that Elder shared on his page.

Benton Gibson, a former Bay City Public Schools board member, responded to Clements' comment in agreement.

"It may sound bitter, and perhaps it is, but I do think the planet might be better off with some people's departure!"

On Wednesday, July 5, Glenn said Clements and Gibson should "immediately delete their comments from Rep. Elder's Facebook page, apologize to the public as I have on occasion, and assure residents of our community that they won't make public comments in the future suggesting that anyone in elected office shouldn't be allowed to live." He added that Clements' comment posted a week after a man open fired on politicians during a Congressional baseball practice.

In an interview Wednesday afternoon, Clements, who is a registered Democrat, said he "sincerely apologizes" for the comment, calling it a mistake.

"In no way, shape or form do I wish violence upon anybody," Clements said.

"It was after a lot of frustration after six years of Republicans in government not looking out for the people who matter most," he continued. "And after continued attacks on teachers, public education, senior citizens and municipalities, my frustrations go the best of me.

"I sincerely apologize to Rep. Leonard and his family and wish him well."

Clements said he has since deleted the comment. He said he thought he had deleted the comment about 15 minutes after typing it.

"It's deleted now," he said.

Rep. Elder said: "It is my understanding that Mr. Clements' comments have been deleted and he has apologized for them. I agree that these types of comments do not belong in today's civil discourse."

The Bay City Times-MLive was unable to reach Gibson for comment.

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Glenn cleared by UM Cancer Center for a year

Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Doctors at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center Monday told state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Larkin Twp., that they consider his prostate cancer, in remission since February of last year, stable enough that he does not need to return to Ann Arbor again for a year.

"Thanks to all who've prayed for my family and me over the past eighteen months," Glenn posted on Facebook after the news. "Since chemo ended last July, I've been going to the University of Michigan Cancer Center every four months to get a check up and a shot. Today, testing indicated the cancer remains 'undetectable,' and the docs now consider me 'stable' enough that they don't need to see me again...for a year! Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!"

Emergency room physicians at Mid-Michigan Medical Center in Midland diagnosed Glenn on Jan. 15th of last year with stage 4 prostate cancer that had consumed the next to last vertebrae in his spinal column, breaking his back. Glenn wore a back brace for four months, and his neurosurgeon initially said surgery would be required to insert a titanium cage into his spinal column; instead, the missing L-5 vertebrae grew back out of nothing, which is considered unusual.

Glenn's PSA score -- a blood test for prostate cancer in which men who test 4 or higher are considered at risk -- was 348 the day he was diagnosed. It was 1.1 five weeks later, when doctors told him the cancer was in remission, and the score has remained at that level or below ever since.

Even after remission, Glenn underwent five months of chemotherapy to help prevent the tumor from beginning to grow again. Despite undergoing chemo, Glenn has maintained a perfect attendance and voting record, never missing a committee meeting, caucus, or vote on the floor of the state House of Representatives.

Glenn is in his second term representing portions of Bay and Midland counties. He serves as Associate Speaker Pro Tem and as chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee.


Glenn, Howell seek end to Medicaid expansion enrollment

Lansing, Mich. – Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, and Rep. Gary Howell, R-North Branch, Thursday introduced a bill to protect state taxpayers by prohibiting further enrollment in the state’s financially unsustainable Medicaid expansion program after September 30th, the end of the current fiscal year.

Glenn-Howell.jpgRep. Gary Glenn, left, and Rep. Gary Howell discuss legislation to cap enrollment in Michigan's ObamaCare plan.

The expansion was approved by the Legislature in 2013 as part of the implementation of ObamaCare in Michigan, dramatically expanding eligibility requirements for Medicaid to include able-bodied, working adults. Previously, Medicaid dollars were primarily intended for individuals who could not support themselves -- children, the elderly, and the blind and other physically or mentally disabled adults.

Last year, enrollment under the expanded eligibility standards surpassed 600,000 individuals, a figure 32 percent higher than supporters of the plan projected when arguing for its enactment.

“Even at current levels, this explosion in ObamaCare enrollment by newly-eligible able-bodied adults will cost Michigan taxpayers $80 million this year, which will explode to $200 million a year starting just three years from now,” Rep. Glenn said. “It’s a budget-busting, financially irresponsible ticking time bomb that taxpayers can’t afford even at the current level of enrollment, much less if legislators stand by and allow enrollment to grow even further.”

Glenn and Howell said the legislation is particularly timely given that Congress voted Thursday to repeal ObamaCare and replace federal funding for the state Medicaid program with block grants that would not cover the program’s costs.

When the program began in 2014, the federal government agreed to pay for 100 percent of the additional cost of providing Medicaid benefits to able-bodied adults under the expanded criteria through 2016. But beginning in January, the state must pay for 5 percent of those increased costs, which will double to 10 percent by 2020.

Glenn’s and Howell’s bill would prohibit Michigan’s Health and Human Services department from accepting new enrollees under the expanded criteria into the medical welfare program as of October 1st. The department would be allowed to renew enrollment of current enrollees if they continue to meet eligibility requirements, even though the two GOP lawmakers said even that will likely become financially unsustainable in the state budget.

They said the legislation would also help redirect Medicaid dollars back to those the welfare program was originally intended to help, “disabled adults or children who are incapable of working to support and help themselves,” Glenn said.

“This is a measure of fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers of Michigan it’s our duty to represent,” Howell said. “I can’t imagine anything more fiscally irresponsible than allowing a welfare program for able-bodied adults -- that’s already financially unsustainable now -- to continue to grow even further.”


MIDLAND DAILY NEWS: Glenn announces staff, office location changes

Michigan State and Harvard University graduate Marc Jordan is the new chief of staff and legislative aide for state Rep. Gary Glenn, Glenn’s office announced Tuesday.

Jordan, who earned his undergraduate and law degrees in East Lansing, and his masters from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, spent 10 years on staff with former Michigan Gov. John Engler — including as the governor’s advisor on agricultural issues and strategic economic initiatives — and has worked on staff for both the state Senate and House of Representatives.

Glenn_staffers.jpgFrom left, Marc Jordan, State Rep. Gary Glenn and Jordan Keyser.

In his new role, Jordan will be working on issues involving Michigan’s energy market, given Glenn’s role as chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee.

“It’s exciting to work for a legislative leader who is respected by his colleagues and widely known for his expertise, knowledge and passion for free enterprise principles on the most complex issue lawmakers face in Lansing,” Jordan said.
Glenn said Jordan’s decades of experience is an asset to residents of the 98th House District.

“My ability to represent the people of Bay and Midland counties and to help steer Michigan to a more prosperous economy and job market will be greatly enhanced by the years of experience Marc brings to Lansing,” Glenn said.

Glenn’s staff also includes constituent services specialist Jordan Keyser, who earned a political science degree from Saginaw Valley State University and formerly served as a legislative intern for Rep. Tim Kelly.

The location of Glenn’s office has changed after being elected associate speaker of the House pro tem. His office is no longer located in the Anderson House Office Building, but is instead located in Room H-372 on the third floor of the state Capitol itself, immediately overlooking the floor of the state House of Representatives.

Constituents can access the office one of two ways: by entering the House gallery on the third floor and walking along the wall on the left hand side to the door at the end of the seating area, or by taking the elevator found at the far north end of the Capitol on the ground floor and going to the third floor and turning right upon exiting the elevator.

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Rep. Glenn sponsors Constitutional Carry legislation

Introduction Thursday of a five-bill package of Constitutional Carry legislation backed by the National Association for Gun Rights and the National Rifle Association.

Glenn_constitutional_carry.jpgRep. Gary Glenn seated, backed up by primary sponsors of the other four bills, left to right: Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R), Rep. Beau LaFave (R), Rep. Scott Dianda (D), and Rep. Steve Johnson (R).

This legislation, if enacted, will allow any law-abiding citizen to carry a concealed weapon without having to ask the government's permission. The Constitution is your permit to "keep and bear arms," openly or concealed.

In a time when civil unrest and violence is being encouraged in our streets, and we face the threat of terrorism from abroad and here at home, the more law-abiding Americans who are armed to protect themselves, their families, their property, and our country, the better.


MIDLAND DAILY NEWS: Glenn proposes legislation to eliminate Common Core in Michigan

Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, has introduced bipartisan legislation to repeal state Common Core educational standards in Michigan, replacing them with proven standards and more emphasis on local control.

Glenn’s bill, House bill 4192, is co-sponsored by 26 Republican and two Democratic members of the House.

“Michigan students deserve the best standards, proven by actual test results,” Glenn said. “And ultimately, our own local school boards and educational leaders — not the federal government – know what’s best for Michigan students.”

However, local officials would like to be a part of the conversation on any legislation.

“It is always disappointing when legislation is proposed without those in the profession being a part of it. The Common Core became a political stone to throw when it is purely a local curriculum issue. Legislators forcing their will without regards to what those in the field will say is best,” stated Midland Public Schools Superintendent Michael Sharrow in an email to the Daily News.

Glenn’s legislation would:

Eliminate Common Core as the state’s educational standard.

Replace them with acclaimed standards used in Massachusetts prior to the Obama Administration’s promotion of Common Core. Glenn cited a 2014 report from the Business Leaders for Michigan, which noted, for example, that Massachusetts ranked first nationwide in fourth-grade reading (page 34), eighth-grade math (page 35) and career and college readiness (pages 36-37) while Michigan scored in the bottom half of the states.

Give local school boards in Michigan the authority to adjust the standards as they decide what best serves their students’ interests.

Parents would be free to opt their child out of any class, instruction or testing.

The state and local schools would be prohibited from collecting data regarding an individual student’s values, attitudes, beliefs, and personality traits, or the student’s political or religious affiliations or views.

Test questions used by public schools would be made easily available to the public.

Glenn noted that critics of Common Core have long cited the use of unproven methods under such standards for teaching math, unfunded mandates for intensive testing and other problems.

“It’s past time for Michigan to regain control over the education of our own children,” Glenn said.

Sharrow also stated, “Being a conservative myself it seems local control has been truly lost.”

The Michigan Competitiveness Committee, chaired by Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, will hold a public hearing on the bill Wednesday, Feb. 15, from noon to 1:30 p.m. The location of the hearing has not yet been finalized, but will occur either in the state Capitol or the House Office Building across the street depending on crowd size.

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MLive: High school kicker invited to State of State after racial social media attack

GG-Ashton_Brooks.jpgLANSING, MI -- A Midland athlete who gained national attention in a social media uproar last year was invited to the floor of the Michigan House of for Gov. Rick Snyder's 2017 State of the State address on Jan. 17.

Ashton Brooks, who is black, was at the center of a national story in October after a white woman posted an Instagram photo with a picture of a gorilla and the caption "... got a pic with dows kicker ;)."

Brooks is the placekicker for the Midland H.H. Dow High School football team and the picture was taken at the school's Friday, Oct. 21, game against Midland High School.

The recent controversy over a social media post attacking a black female high school football kicker will not be allowed to distract from the team's first football playoff game this Friday, Oct. 28.

After the post was made that Friday, it was discovered by school officials Saturday and by Tuesday it had gone viral when Shaun King, a writer for the New York Daily News, tweeted the image. King was not the person who initially took the photograph.

The woman who posted the image was a former Dow student and a Michigan State University student at the time. She has since been banned from the high school property.

Brooks and her mother were invited by Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, to a private reception in the governor's office before his address to a joint session of the state House and Senate. She then joined Glenn on the House floor for the governor's speech while her mother, April Brooks, watched from the gallery, according to a Glenn representative.

"The visit meant more to me than words can account for," Ashton Brooks said. "Representatives are only allowed to bring one guest to the floor, so the fact that Rep. Gary Glenn chose me to be that person, in itself is something to look up to."

Glenn, in a press release, said it was a pleasure having the Brookses as his guests and praised the way Brooks handled the national attention she received.

"As a football fan, I was impressed and proud of Ashton's athletic ability and performance, but as her state representative and a father, even more so by the maturity, grace and discipline with which she responded to suddenly being thrust at a young age into a national spotlight," Glenn said.

"Her example is worthy of recognition, and I hope her being here is an encouragement that sends a strong message that the Midland community and the entire state of Michigan value, respect, and support her and all our young people 'not by the color of their skin,' as Dr. King said, 'but by the content of their character.'"

Brooks said she was introduced to the youngest representative in the House as well as Michigan's Speaker of the House Tom Leonard, with whom she had a discussion about his high school football career.

"It was crazy to think that while I'm always looking up to our great politicians, last night some of them even looked up to me and seemed quite proud of me and the way I handled my viral story," Brooks said. "And it was extremely powerful to be recognized by such amazing people in that way."

Brooks was the first female to play for a high school football team in Midland. Also a member of the Dow soccer team, she scored more extra points than any other kicker in the Saginaw Valley League Blue Division, was named 2nd team All-Conference, as well as the Dow High football team's Most Valuable Player and Special Teams Player of the Year. She plans to attend Northwood University in Midland on academic and soccer scholarships.

"It truly was an incredible experience that I am so very lucky to have been a part of," Brooks said of her House visit.

Click here for the article.


MLive: Gary Glenn ranked 2nd most conservative voter in Michigan House

MIDLAND, MI -- State Rep. Gary Glenn continues to rank among the most conservative voters in the state House of Representatives.

Glenn, R-Midland, tied for the second-most conservative voting record in the state house in 2016, according to an annual ranking by the Michigan Information and Research Service.

"It's my duty to faithfully represent the conservative values of families in Bay and Midland counties, and I'll continue to do my best to fulfill the trust they've placed in me to serve as their voice and vote in the state House," Glenn stated in a press release.

Glenn, R-Larkin Township, will continue to represent the District 98 State House seat after receiving 60 percent of the vote in the Tuesday, Nov. 8, general election.

Glenn, who will serve as Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem in 2017, tied with incoming Assistant Majority Floor Leader Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, and outgoing Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, in voting conservative on 87 percent of votes analyzed by MIRS.

Rep. Tom Hooker, R-Byron Center, ranked first by voting conservative on 91 percent of votes.

Glenn will begin his second two-year term as representative on Wednesday, Jan. 11, when the 2017-18 House session convenes in Lansing.

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Rep. Gary Glenn’s tribute to his father and Don Bloomfield on Pearl Harbor Day

Watch Rep. Glenn’s tribute in the Michigan House of Representatives to his late father James R. Glenn, a U.S. Marine who survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Gov. Rick Snyder joined Rep. Glenn as they also paid tribute to Pearl Harbor survivor Sgt. Don Bloomfield, 95, of Midland, Michigan, on the 75th anniversary of the Date That Will Live in Infamy.