Apparently the public isn't completely clueless:
A recent statewide public opinion survey conducted by Fallon Research found that 75.7% of Republicans, 89% of Democrats, and 81.6% of Independents (82.6% overall) said state leaders and elected officials in North Carolina should seek more alternative or renewable energy sources in order to provide consumers and businesses with electricity.
That small percentage of people who oppose renewable energy, for whatever misguided reasons, need to understand: this poll isn't a product of confusion. Even those who question the validity of global warming are aware of the pollution burning coal produces, and even the small percentage of those who dismiss that or try to ignore it know it's unwise to be reliant on finite resources when infinite resources are available. If lawmakers try to reverse the progress we've made in this area, the voters will be (understandably) perplexed and upset. And this part was pleasantly surprising:
NCSEA polled citizens on their support of NC’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) law, which passed in 2007 and requires our state’s utilities to increase their use of clean energy resources and energy savings measures by 2021. NC was the first state in the Southeast and the 25th in the nation to adopt such a law. The survey found that 69.7% of respondents thought the REPS law was a good idea, while 13.6% were unsure.
Seventy percent of those surveyed felt the prices they are charged for power and electricity had increased over the last two years. When asked what they thought was the biggest reason for the increase, 35.7% thought it was because power companies were increasing their profits, while 21.1% felt it was due to inflation and the economy. 14.8% reported that it was due to increased costs for fuel recovery, production, and processing and 5.8% felt that it was due to increased use of renewable energy.
That second paragraph should be especially instructive for our new Governor. Diddling around with the composition of the Utilities Commission is going to be a public relations nightmare. Even if the ratepayers don't get fleeced by a Duke Energy-dominated kangaroo Commission, and that's a big damn if, the people will perceive that's happening. It's what a lot of (formerly successful) politicians and business leaders couldn't get through their rock heads: even the appearance of a conflict of interest is a mistake, and one that you can't reel back in and fix. Just don't do it.
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