Efforts To Repeal North Carolina’s Clean Energy Standard Not Dead Yet

State Representative Mike Hager’s mission to repeal North Carolina’s successful renewable energy standard just won’t end. Two repeal bills, HB 298 and SB 365, failed to pass either chamber by a May 16th legislative deadline, even though the Senate bill passed the Senate Finance Committee in a controversial manner: without a vote count. The two bills met resistance from not only State Senate and House Republicans, but also by a coalition made up of farmers, renewable energy companies, and rural economic development advocates.

Rep. Hager is driving the repeal efforts, along with radical conservative organizations like ALEC, Heartland Institute, the Koch Brothers, Art Pope, the American Conservative Union, and Americans for Tax Reform. As a member of ALEC, Hager is now trying to find new ways to repeal the standard. He recently told the Carolina Journal that he is working to have the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Study Commission examine the RES.

“Anything where you have a sector of business being propped up by taxpayers is not an ideal situation,” said Rep. Hager.

However, a poll conducted earlier this year by Fallon Research for the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association found that 89 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of independents, and 76 percent of Republicans want North Carolina leaders to expand the use of renewable energy.

Furthermore, Duke Energy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers at the company’s annual shareholder meeting said, “We [Duke Energy] still support (the renewables law) because it has the economic provision in it… Personally I support the renewable energy portfolio standard.”

Having the CEO of the largest electricity power holding company in the United States, supplying energy to 7.2 million customers, publicly support the North Carolina RES is a great message any commission should be aware of when dealing with energy policies.

Any commission created to examine the state RES should also note the 1,100 clean energy companies in North Carolina that have contributed $3.7 billion in annual gross revenue, and that clean energy deployment has led to a net gain in employment of over 21,000 jobs in just five years.

Moreover, the RES has lowered residential bills and these savings will more than double within a decade, with expected savings of up to $173 million to ratepayers. The RES standard also catapulted North Carolina to fifth in the nation in solar energy development and the state is expected to move to fourth place this year.

As long as ALEC continues their misguided efforts to repeal energy standards, we can expect the state lawmakers who are members of the organization to continue their efforts as well.

7 Responses to Efforts To Repeal North Carolina’s Clean Energy Standard Not Dead Yet

  1. prokaryotes says:

    Every time i read something about North Carolina it is negative.

  2. tomgraywind says:

    I think should be mentioned that ALEC and Heartland Institute are not just conservative groups, but receive funding from fossil fuels-related sources. See the series by Elliott Negin of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Huffington Post on how media fail to identify fossil fuel connections of astroturf groups and think tanks. This is article 6, which contains links to all the others:
    — Tom Gray, communications consultant to American Wind Energy Association

  3. James says:

    But how can that be? I thought Duke Energy was one of the companies lobbying against it?

  4. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s the same in Australia. In Victoria, the hard Right state regime, which is quite viciously anti-environmental (the new style, Greenwash being considered ‘moral equivalence’) with attempts to turn cattle loose in fragile alpine parks, heavy logging of old growth forests (probably leading to the near-term extinction of the State’s ‘fauna emblem’ the leadbetter’s possum)and a general oft-expressed hatred of ‘Green extremists’, has destroyed the wind power industry in two years. Previously booming, it has been devastated by laws that prohibit wind turbines within two kilometres of habitations, whereas the brown-coal (the most CO2 intense fuel of all)industry is being actively encouraged, and its filthy open-cast mines can come within 100 metres of homes. The Right is the same everywhere and throughout time, and will never, ever, change.

  5. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    Perhaps you’e right Mulga, they “will never, ever change.” A former optimism led me to believe their affliction could be treated as a mental disorder, as with other afflictions like religious evangelism and the inability to think in the abstract. Then I realized, in an abstract moment of my own, that the Right is actually all of the above. Now I have settled for the much less optimistic consolation that perhaps they’ll fail to adapt to imminent changes in the environment, and not pass through the future population bottleneck. The result will be a better evolved, non-Paleolithic species – Homo sapiens sapiens sapiens, perhaps. The Sand County Almanac will be the new Book of Life. My hope now, in a genetically selfish way, is that some of my DNA makes it through the knothole. But I digress…

  6. Merrelyn Emery says:

    It is learnt, not genetic, ME

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Merrelyn, it is plainly both. Nature or nurture, to varying degrees in different individuals. It is also, at root, manifested in individual psychology, that directs ideological preference, and in the macrocosm, socially, as the dominant psychological type project their worldview onto society, through MSM indoctrination, the incessant mental molestation of inescapable advertising and an education system becoming more and more stratified according to class and incapable of and uninterested in instilling any but ‘Market’ values in children. Then there is the collapse of moral consciousness amongst the religious, with the rise of fundamentalist obscurantism and exceptionalism, the perennial rule of might and aggression in international affairs, posing as ‘our moral values’ etc. All, at root, in my opinion, the result of the global dominance of the worst in society.