Amway, part of coalition that opposes Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs ballot initiative
Last week, MLive ran a story with the focus on West Michigan groups that oppose the Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs November ballot proposal.
The story tells readers that Amway and other West Michigan businesses and business associations are formally opposed to the Michigan constitution mandating that 25% of Michigan’s energy must be renewable energy by 2025. This business group believes that is a bad approach and that it will not result in the amount of jobs the ballot initiative proponents are claiming.
The only source used in the MLive article was an Amway spokesperson, although the article does link to a previous article about Ottawa County Democrats who support the ballot initiative.
The MLive article fails on many levels. First, it does not explore the main reasons for organized opposition to the November ballot initiative. Anyone who knows the philosophical nature of the Chamber of Commerce and many businesses like Amway, would know that they are opposed to most forms of government intervention in the economy. This is an ideological issue, which the MLive writer does not acknowledge or explore.
Second, there is no indication that this is an organized effort to opposed the Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs November ballot initiative. The West Michigan entities identified in the MLive article are part of a coalition known as CARE – Clean, Affordable, Renewable, Energy. This coalition is made up of more than just West Michigan businesses and business association, including:
• Acemco Inc. • Agape Plastics • Amway • Betz Industries • Eagle Alloy • The Frederick Douglass Foundation of Michigan • Grand Rapids Area Chamber • Great Lakes Die Cast • Master Finish Co. • Metal Components, LLC. • Montcalm Alliance • Montcalm Commission on Aging • Montcalm County Panhandle Area Chamber of Commerce • Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce • Rothbury Steel • Steve’s Antique Auto Repair • Sunrise Acre Farms • Trendway Corp. • Wyoming-Kentwood Area Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, there are numerous current and former politicians in Michigan who oppose this ballot initiative such as Ken Sikkema, Frank Kelly, Bill Schuette and local state Rep. Dave Agema. Agema has this to say about his opposition to the Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs ballot initiative:
This will lead to huge increases in your energy bills. Once again, someone will be subsidized with your tax dollars making huge profits at your expense and not producing the jobs they claim. It’s an artificial stimulus program that will not work. Since our energy costs will skyrocket, businesses will locate elsewhere to avoid these costs. Instead of creating jobs, we’ll lose them. This does not create an environment for businesses to want to come to Michigan. This is a recipe for lost jobs and higher energy costs for all involved. Follow the money and watch who gains.
Lastly, the MLive article fails readers in that is does not seek out any independent or third party voices/perspectives. The lack of a third perspective limits the debate to whether or not to support this particular ballot initiative and omits any possible discussion about any serious energy policy that might operate outside of the current industrial mindset. Serious environmental consequences are not even part of how the debate between these two opposing forces has been framed.