First-term lawmaker will also serve on Commerce and Trade,
Tax Policy, and Military and Veterans Affairs committees
Lansing, Mich. -- First-term state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, will serve as vice chairman of the House Energy Committee, newly-elected Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant, announced late last week.
The committee is expected to be the focus this legislative session of key reform legislation critical to the future competitiveness and profitability of major area employers such as Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, Hemlock Semiconductor Group, and Midland Cogeneration Venture. House Majority Floor Leader Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, who is serving his last term in the House, will remain as chairman of the committee.
Glenn pledged he will "make the most of the trust and opportunity Speaker Cotter's given me to promote free market policies that help reduce electricity rates and other energy costs, not just for major employers -- which is critical to keeping the jobs they provide located here in Bay and Midland counties -- but for individual homeowners and their families as well."
Glenn noted that electricity costs in Michigan last year -- at 14.72 cents per kilowatt hour -- were the highest in the midwest and 11th highest in the nation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. ( http://goo.gl/iEhZY9 )
Electricity costs are lower for homeowners and businesses -- in descending order -- in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, and finally in Indiana, where ratepayers enjoy the lowest costs in the midwest at only 12 cents per kilowatt hour.
"If we want more business and industry to locate and bring new jobs to Michigan, we have to pursue policies that make Michigan's energy costs more competitive," Glenn said.
He said he will hit the ground running in the new position, meeting Tuesday (Jan. 20th) with former state Rep. Andy Coulouris, D-Saginaw, now Dow Corning's vice president for area public affairs, and working with Dow Chemical to finalize the date for a tour of their Midland operations no later than mid-February. As a candidate, Glenn last year toured Midland Cogeneration Venture -- the largest natural gas-fired combined electrical energy and steam energy-generating plant in the United States -- with MCV chief executive officer Peter Milojevic.
Cotter also announced Glenn will serve on two other powerhouse committees in Lansing -- the House Commerce and Trade Committee and the Tax Policy Committee -- both of which Glenn said will address issues "critical to bringing about a positive free market-based economic, regulatory, and lower tax environment that will allow Michigan to again lead the nation in stimulating job, income, and investment growth."
"Bay and Midland counties are home to firms that are world leaders in innovation and manufacturing, whose employees invent products traded around the globe," Glenn said. "Trade policy is also key to developing and maintaining foreign markets for the array of agricultural products grown and produced in our two counties. On the Commerce and Trade Committee, I'll do my best to get government out of the way and let our free enterprise system work to the economic benefit of business owners, farmers, and our skilled workforce here in mid-Michigan."
Glenn said on the Tax Policy Committee he will "look and push for tax reform opportunities to both stimulate economic growth, investment, and job creation by lowering taxes on business, and help families make ends meet by providing tax relief to individual taxpayers as well."
As a candidate last year, Glenn signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge promoted by Americans for Tax Reform, committing to oppose any attempts to increase the tax burden on Michigan families.
Glenn also fulfilled a campaign promise to local veterans by securing a seat on the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. A member of Midland's American Legion Post 165, he enlisted during the Gulf War buildup and served eight years in the U.S. Army Reserves and Army National Guard, including with the 1460th Transportation Company headquartered in Midland. He also chairs the state affiliate of a small non-profit military readiness and remembrance organization called Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors.
"I was raised by a World War II Marine who taught me to love my country, and my family's military service traces as far back as the American Revolution," Glenn said. "I'm grateful to Speaker Cotter for the opportunity to help ensure Michigan fulfills our debt of honor and duty to those veterans still living, who've served and sacrificed so much to defend our country and our freedom."
Glenn said that committee assignment is of particular meaning to veterans in Midland County, who've recently benefited from an unusually high level of representation for their interests in Lansing. In the last legislative session, former state Sen. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, and former state Rep. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, who Glenn succeeded, were chairmen, respectively, of the state Senate and House veterans affairs committees.
With Moolenaar having moved on to Congress and Stamas to the state Senate, Glenn is now the only member of Midland County's state or federal delegation with a seat on a military or veterans-related committee. "On behalf of veterans in Bay and Midland counties," Glenn said, "I'll do my best to continue the legacy of leadership John and Jim brought to veterans affairs in recent years."
Glenn's office in Lansing can be reached as follows:
Phone: 1-855-GLENN98 (toll free)
Mailing address: S-1287 HOB, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, Mi. 48909
Street address: Room 1287, 12th floor, Anderson House Office Building, 124 North Capitol Avenue, Lansing