We have a terrific and timely meeting for tonight - “Attack on NC Solar Energy – Can it Survive?” (See meeting announcement and information below). So many bad bills are being pushed trough in Raleigh. We really need to learn about the issues and how we can protect renewable energy in NC.
Here is a April 23 press release from our partner the NC Sustainable Energy Association:
REPS Repeal Bill Subjected to Sudden Committee Changeup in Effort to Resurrect Momentum
Procedural maneuvers unlikely to improve bill’s prospects
RALEIGH – In a move that added another odd twist to the uncomfortable course of House Bill 298, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) repeal bill, Rep. Mike Hager has altered the process for the bill’s consideration. In an attempt to resurrect the bill’s flagging momentum, Rep. Hager has arranged for the North Carolina General Assembly’s Public Utilities and Energy Committee that he chairs to jump the queue and hear the bill next instead of allowing it to proceed to the House Committees on Environment and Regulatory Reform as originally planned. The Public Utilities and Energy Committee is now set to take the bill up on a rushed schedule at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
Chairman Hager pulled four other bills from his Committee’s schedule in order to clear the way for this last minute gambit. The sudden change seems to have been driven by the fact that momentum behind H298 had slowed considerably as well as by the expectation that the bill did not have sufficient votes to pass the Environment Committee. Even with this change in process, H298 is likely to face some tough sledding in Chairman Hager’s own Public Utilities Committee due to a growing awareness that many of the assumptions underlying the bill are not supported by the data.
“The problem with the bill is that it is simply wrong on the merits,” said Betsy McCorkle, Director of Government Affairs for the NC Sustainable Energy Association. “Late game procedural maneuvers can’t cure that fundamental flaw.”
Chief among the bill’s flawed premises is the mistaken belief that the REPS law raises electricity rates for North Carolina residents. Information from a recent study by RTI International and La Capra Associates, Inc. shows that consumers will actually realize more than $173 million in cost savings between 2007 and 2026 due to the state’s clean energy policies, including the REPS. The study also found that over the past six years North Carolina reaped $1.7 billion in total economic benefit from clean energy policies.
The hearing will be held in Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building in downtown Raleigh. There will be an audio feed via the NCGA’s website for those unable to attend in person. To access the audio go to the following link (http://www.ncleg.net/Audio/Audio.html) and then click on “Appropriations Committee Room (Rm 643)”.
There is an assault on renewable energy taking place across the country and especially here in North Carolina. There are bills being debated in Raleigh that will repeal or kill the N.C. Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (REPS) that mandate Duke Energy deliver 12.5% renewable energy by 2021. There is also legislation being discussed to eliminate the 35% NC solar tax credit. What does the future hold for the solar and renewable industry in North Carolina? What can be done about this? Could third party sales be beneficial?
Join us Wednesday, April 24, at 6:30 PM as learn about and discuss the “Attack on NC Solar Energy – Can it Survive?” Our program will feature a compelling NEW VIDEO, presented by Chatham Olive, long time environmentalist and former solar executive, and Kris Thornburg, NC Sierra Club Research Analyst. Join us to hear Kris and Chatham as they provide a state-of-the state update on NC solar and a look at future possibilities. This is guaranteed to be a “powerful” and “electrifying” discussion!
The meeting starts off at 6:30 PM for pizza, refreshments and a chance to meet and socialize with other Sierra Club members and friends. The business meeting and program will begin at 7:00 PM. Non-members and potential new members are very welcome!
Central Piedmont Sierra Club meetings are held in the Mahlon Adams Pavilion at Freedom Park, 2435 Cumberland Avenue, Charlotte, NC, 28203. Cumberland Avenue is off of the 1500 block of East Boulevard.
The program is free and open to the public and you do not have to be a member to attend. Free parking is available. Drawing for FREE door prizes will wrap up the meeting!
Bring a friend or two; you’ll be glad you did! See you there…
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