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Santa delivers stocking full of coal to Rep. Bellino for holding up solar power bill

Bipartisan cosponsors all receive candy for wanting to protect the North Pole

A very worried Santa Claus stood next to Rep. Gregory Markkanen, (R-110, Ishpeming) to show support for his bill, HB4236 which would expand distributed energy generation in the state, bringing renewable energy within reach for many more residents. Despite enjoying bipartisan support in the house energy committee, Rep. Joe Bellino (R-17,Monroe) has single handedly been holding up the legislation as committee chairman.

“The polar bears have been telling me that they’re very concerned about the climate crisis,” said Santa as a twinkle slowly faded from his eye. “That’s why I’ve come to Lansing to make certain that all the good boys and girls who’ve been supporting HB4236 get candy while bad boy, Rep. Bellino gets a big bag of coal for being a very naughty boy.”

Currently, there is a 1% cap on distributed residentially generated energy in Michigan. Rep. Belino recently indicated that he’d be open to raising the cap to 3%, but Santa remained unimpressed since none of the surrounding states have a cap at all and the runway outside his arctic workshop has gotten so foggy, Rudolph now relies on GPS.

“We’ve got to stop kicking the can down the road and give Michiganders a choice,” said Rep. Markkanen. “We’re fighting the battle in Lansing and we need you to fight in each and every community.” He suggests that residents call their utility companies and tell them they want access to rooftop and community solar energy.

Following their remarks, Rep. Markkanen went into the capitol building for the last session of the year while Santa visited Rep. Bellino’s office to drop off a stocking full of coal. He then continued on with treats for all the cosponsors of HB4236, Representatives Steven Johnson, Brad Paquette, Yousef Rabhi, Padma Kuppa, John Roth, Rachel Hood, John Damoose, John Reilly, Ken Borton, Michele Hoitenga, Gary Howell, and Douglas Wozniak.

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