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RELEASE|November 30, 2023

By: State Rep. Pauline Wendzel

In the aftermath of Michigan Democrats passing the most dangerous energy policy in the nation that will drive utility bills up for struggling Michigan families, I joined several colleagues in introducing legislation to address the ethical concerns regarding the sourcing of products used to power forms of renewable and green energy. 

The legislation ensures that in order to receive any taxpayer dollars, the components used in the production of electric vehicles and green energy generation are not produced using forced, unsafe, or oppressive child or slave labor. 

Based on recent estimates, of the 250,000 cobalt miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 40,000 of them are children – some as young as six – earning less than $2 a day while exposing themselves to a toxic and deadly environment. In China, the Xinjiang region is responsible for nearly half of the global production of polysilicon – a crucial resource for producing 95% of the world’s solar panels. According to estimates, over 100,000 Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other minorities are being subjected to forced labor in China following detention in re-education camps.     

My legislation amends the Management and Budget Act to prohibit state procurement of electric vehicles unless provided with a sworn declaration that the manufacturer certifies that every person involved in the mining or sourcing of the materials used did not employ forced labor or oppressive child labor. 

The legislation was introduced before Democrats broke for a two-month break, and with the House soon to be an even split, I hope to see action early next year on this commonsense legislation. As always, I appreciate hearing from you.  If there is anything I can ever do to be of service to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at PaulineWendzel@house.mi.gov or at 517-373-1799.

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