In defense of NC's wildly successful Solar tax credits

It's foolish to even consider stalling this engine:

The Tar Heel state ranked fourth nationally for total solar electric capacity and ninth per capita, according to a new report by the Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center. State House lawmakers used the report Thursday as a launch pad to talk about the potential freeze to North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and the hangup in the budget over extending renewable energy tax credits.

Rep. Pricey Harrison, a Greensboro Democrat, said clean energy is an “economic success story” for the state. “It’s not time to cut it off,” she said. Nearly 23,000 North Carolinians are employed in the clean energy industry, Harrison added. “These jobs, businesses, investments in new revenues are at stake right now as the House and the Senate debate budget provisions,” she said.

Ten years ago, we used to get excited about a couple of hundred kilowatts of Solar PV being added to the mix, but in 2015 North Carolina will bring online 76 megawatts of Solar power in the 2nd Quarter alone. It's no longer a boutique-level "novelty" for the well-to-do to show off to their friends, it's grown into a baseload-providing system powering hundreds of thousands of homes. It's not on the drawing board, folks. It's a reality. And the last thing we need to do is screw around with the formula.

Friday News: GOP star chamber edition


Top House Democrat says GOP ‘secret society’ will cut state worker retirement plan (Raleigh News & Observer) -- House Democratic Leader Larry Hall called a press conference Thursday to tell reporters that a Republican “secret society” is planning sweeping changes to the state employee retirement system. Both House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, Republicans, said Thursday that the claims aren’t true.

Too little, too late: NC GOP's film incentives shell game

Happy talk won't put these pieces back together:

Ted Davis has declared North Carolina’s film industry “officially back open for business.” The state representative’s statement–made after lawmakers reached a $30 million compromise on the N.C. Film Grant Program–was preceded earlier this week by news that a TNT pilot is set to shoot in the Port City next month.

Senator Michael Lee would agree. “I am pleased that my Senate colleagues, after much negotiation, have agreed to increase the funding levels for this important program,” he said. “While there is still much more that can be done, today is a victory for both our region and our state.”

A victory? The only "victors" in this embarrassing series of blunders are the State of Georgia and the anti-government nut-jobs at the John Locke Foundation. We've sent a clear message to not only the film companies already engaged in North Carolina, but also those who might have considered shooting here, that we are simply not mature enough to maintain a stable environment for their business. Aside from slashing film incentives and chirping about what we "might be willing to spend," the fricking budget is two months late already, and negotiations are not promising. Two months of uncertainty in the film business, especially when you've got television schedules to consider, is a project-killing nightmare. And for Davis and Lee: The people in the Wilmington area know the Republican Party caused this nightmare. You might want to update your resumes.

Thursday News: Koch Brothers set up shop in Legislature

Renewables critics sound off with Koch brothers’ megaphone (WRAL-TV) -- Opponents of renewable energy programs held an hour-long roundtable at the Legislative Building on Wednesday about their concerns. The event was sponsored by the American Energy Alliance, the political lobbying arm of the Institute for Energy Policy, a conservative think tank funded by Charles and David Koch. The event moderator was Tom Pyle, president of the AEA and the IEP, and a former Koch Industries lobbyist.

House will cave to Senate on sunset of N.C.’s renewable energy tax credit (Jones & Blount) – North Carolina’s 35 percent tax credit for renewable energy production will be allowed to expire, House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, had told fellow House Republicans. Moore has said the House will accede to the Senate position on letting the state’s 35 percent investment tax credit for renewable energy production end on Dec. 31.

Drunk-driving county commissioner indicted again

But it's okay if you're a Republican:

Rockingham County Commissioner Keith Mabe was indicted Tuesday on alcohol- and traffic-related charges from two separate incidents. This is the second time this year that a grand jury has indicted Mabe on alcohol-related charges.

In March, a grand jury returned indictments against Mabe on charges of driving while impaired, possession of Valium and possession of paregoric in connection with a 2014 accident.

There's nothing quite like a double-dose of opiates to mellow out that alcohol buzz. Sheesh. No wonder he drove through somebody's yard. If that's what he considers "being a public servant," I'd hate to see what he'd get up to if he really didn't care...

Wednesday News: Good vs evil edition


Bernie Sanders to hold weekend rally in N.C. (AP) — Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is planning a rally in North Carolina this weekend for his presidential campaign. Sanders, a Democrat, announced Tuesday he will speak Sunday evening at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.

Jeb Bush Wants to Lower Taxes, Limit Deductions (Wall Street Journal) -- Jeb Bush, a leading contender for the GOP presidential nomination, unveiled some details of his sweeping overhaul of the tax code, calling for lower rates on individuals and corporations while limiting many popular deductions

Art Pope's continuing attempts to manipulate UNC's curriculum

And he's not above deploying a trouble-making college student to get what he wants:

Alec Dent, an incoming freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, made headlines recently for an article he wrote for the conservative website The College Fix in which he claimed the school was offering a seminar titled "The Literature of 9/11" that "sympathizes with terrorists" and "paints [the] U.S. as imperialistic." Dent apparently did not take the course or read the books but appears to have based his opinion on Amazon book descriptions for a limited selection of its readings.

The younger Dent penned a blog post for the Pope Center back in July titled "Freshman orientation: conform or be cast out" about an interactive theater experience that addressed diversity and inclusivity. He describes the skit's topics – racism, sexism, heterosexism, and classism – as "cardinal sin(s) of the liberal perspective" and takes a potshot at affirmative action while portraying white men as victims.

Pope's obsession with steering more courses (and maybe even an entire school) to the admiration and perhaps glorification of Western Civilization is nothing more than White Supremacy, albeit with a scholarly and intellectual flavoring. The truth is, Western Europe was rather late to the civilization game, and its respect for the arts and sciences could never compete with its bloodlust and unquenchable thirst for hegemony. And it appears Pope and many of his GOP buddies are still stricken with the horrific lack of vision that plagued their medieval heroes.

Tuesday News: Channeling Trump

Can Incumbents Like Burr Replicate Trump's Outsider Success? (Roll Call) — As the GOP establishment, the media and just about everyone else tries to wrap their minds around the success and seemingly invincibility of Donald Trump, Sen. Richard M. Burr is paying close attention. “When you look at what they’ve tapped into, they’ve tapped into a frustration of the American people at the lack of solutions that come out of Washington — that government’s not working on their behalf,” the North Carolina senator said. “It’s been done quite effectively on the part of Trump.”

Meet the Donald Trump of the House of Representatives (Washington Post) -- Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) is the face of the anti-establishment tide that could force another government shutdown.


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