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Critics call attention to dark money group linked to DTE

DTE Energy

Critics are calling attention to a new dark money group that's linked to DTE Energy.

The group, Protect Our Values, supports the campaign of Joe Bellino for State Senate.

Nick Dodge is with the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. He says Bellino, in the state House, blocked a bill that DTE opposed. The bill would have let more people benefit from utility companies' rooftop solar programs. "The status quo has been protected for far too long, and we think something needs to change here, because we're not able to get legislation through to allow more people to take control of their energy costs," he says.

Protect Our Values is a spinoff of another dark money group, Michigan Energy First.

DTE Energy says it doesn't speak for either group. That's even though two DTE officials are leaders at Michigan Energy First.

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.