Renewable energy portfolio under attack

GOP gameplan: When you have a successful program that's good for health & welfare of citizens, repeal it:

Barely three years have passed since the state overhauled its energy policy to require electric utilities to meet energy demand through renewable resources and energy efficiency programs.

Now a legislative proposal introduced Wednesday would scrap the 2007 energy law, known as Senate Bill 3. Republican state Rep. George Cleveland's bill calls for the immediate repeal of the bill, which requires power companies to meet 12.5 percent of customer electricity demand through renewables and conservation by 2021.

Not even the utility companies want to repeal it:

Power companies, initially skeptical of alternative energy, are now committed to the legislation. "We do not support [repealing] it," Progress Energy spokesman Mike Hughes said. "We've made some investments to be in compliance with SB3, and these investments are long-term."

Specifically, Progress has signed a number of 20-year contracts to buy the power output from solar energy farms. Progress also has developed a program of financial incentives for customers who buy energy-efficient appliances.

Charlotte-based Duke Energy likewise opposes repealing SB3. "It has done a lot of good things for the state," Duke spokesman Jason Walls said. "This legislation has really helped create a market for solar energy in the state."

But clean energy, common sense and industry support are not enough to counter the wishes of the man who bought the General Assembly:

The repeal of SB3 has been advocated by the conservative John Locke Foundation.

You Republican legislators who bridle at the accusation you've been bought by Art Pope have a chance to prove otherwise. The renewable energy industry in North Carolina has been one of the only growing sectors in our State's economy. Don't let ideological misfits cause you to do something stupid.



Definitely a candidate

for a Veto, but hopefully it won't get that far.

Repealing renewable energy requirements amid Fukushima?

It is undeniably reckless for Republicans to walk in John Locke Foundation step to repeal renewable energy requirements while the mounting consequences at Fukushima raise new questions about the future of nuclear power - the Duke power/Progress Energy base load alternative of choice.
The Republican majority should feel compelled by the still-unfolding Japanese disaster to give credence to arguments like those made by Craig Bennett in The Guardian in favor of more renewable energy and conservation.
This is exactly the wrong time for an ideological about face and backward march and exactly the right time for real-world leadership.