Angry Michiganders have criticized state Democratic lawmakers for facilitating the construction of a Chinese-backed green energy project.
During a public hearing of the Michigan Senate Appropriations Committee, local residents condemned plans to use $175 million in taxpayer money to build an electric vehicle battery plant in the town of Big Rapids owned by Chinese technology company Gotion.
Despite being very confrontational about considering the plans, the committee went on to approve the measure in a 10-9 vote, with every Republican and three Democrats on the committee opposing it.
The approval comes amid a growing focus on China’s ability to buy large amounts of farmland in the United States, which lawmakers and citizens alike fear could allow the nation undue influence in America.
Hannah Says, left, and Marjorie Steele, right, were among those who criticized the committee for even considering the plans.
Speaking before the committee that ultimately approved the proposal, Big Rapids town clerk Hannah Says told the committee that she was “terribly disappointed.”
Saez criticized local lawmakers for standing in line behind Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who announced in October that Gotion, a subsidiary of China-based Gotion High-Tech, would invest $2.4 billion to build two 550,000-square-foot production plants across the country. around the world. 260 acres in Michigan.
However, I can attest that our society is now united in ways it was not before. Saez continued: They do not want that.
Thousands of Michiganders will be watching today. I know you all get daily emails and phone calls. I know you are under pressure. I know you may have been coerced.
I beg you to do what is here even if corruption is knocking at your door.
Gotion’s plans will see the company invest $2.4 billion to build two 550,000-square-foot production plants across 260 acres in Michigan.
The motion was approved in narrow 9-10 votes. Pictured: The Capitol Building in Lansing, Michigan
Michigan residents have strongly objected to plans by the Chinese company Gotion to build an electric battery factory in the state
Saiz was followed in her remarks by Marjorie Steele, who criticized the committee for quickly scheduling the vote without “due diligence” on the risks.
“I am angry,” she began. I’m angry that this vote was put on the agenda today with as little information as possible so people like me wouldn’t know it was happening.
“I am outraged that you, our elected officials, have ignored the pleas of my community to provide this vote so that some semblance of due diligence can be conducted.”
“I can promise you we won’t stop at the local level,” she added.
We are tired of being abused and we are not alone. This is not just a Mecosta County issue. Towns and counties across the state unite and share resources, workforce, and grassroots activism. Your votes today, Senator, are lines drawn in the sand.
Several Big Rapids residents who spoke at the hearing criticized China’s growing presence in the area, with one going so far as to claim that the project was part of the CCP’s plan to “overthrow the United States without firing a shot.”
“I think any Chinese communist factory that buys 700 acres of Michigan land is a concern for all citizens across the state,” Cheryl Vitito added.
This CCP-controlled corporation represents communism and threatens our way of life and our God-given constitutional freedoms.
“We don’t want CCP here by Gotion plant because they don’t care about the value and dignity of human life.”
Shirley Schaefer, another resident, added: “This company pledges allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party and should be considered a threat to our national security.”
State Senator Sarah Anthony, chair of the Appropriations Committee, was among those who voted in favor of the proposal
Only three Democrats on the committee voted against the measure, including Sylvia Santana, pictured
according to Fox NewsThe internal regulations of Gotion High-Tech, Gotion’s parent company, stipulate that the company “carry out party activities in accordance with the Constitution of the Communist Party of China.”
Concerns about the Chinese company’s expansion into the state have seen fierce opposition from local Republican lawmakers, including Kyle Luce, the superintendent of the neighboring town of Barton.
Luce said 85 percent of residents in his jurisdiction, which is close to the now approved electric utility, opposed the project in a poll.
“Our citizens are concerned about the time frame that’s going on here,” Luce told the committee.
The timing seems to be greatly accelerated, in our view, to try and get the deal done and get this done before people have a chance to speak publicly, residents have a chance to speak. And individuals, senators, are daily looking for information about the CCP’s involvement.