NC’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard being targeted

Great article in The Independent Weekly about efforts by Art Pope and the John Locke Foundation to repeal Senate Bill 3, a law that the General Assembly passed in 2007 establishing North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, or REPS, which sets minimum requirements for electric utilities’ use of renewable sources of power.

Illustration by V.C. Rogers

Repealing SB3 is near the top of the agenda for the John Locke Foundation, despite the fact that environmental groups think that the 12.5 percent renewables by 2020 requirement is already too weak and utility companies are opposed to changes in the law.

And it’s not only North Carolina environmental groups that have been unreceptive to Locke’s anti-science message. The state’s two big investor-owned utilities, Progress Energy and Duke Energy, have acknowledged the reality of global warming and taken steps to comply with SB3’s standards. They don’t want to see those efforts upended now that they’ve entered into long-term contracts with renewable energy providers.

“We would not support such a quick reversal in public policy,” Progress Energy spokesperson Mike Hughes says. “Policy that involves significant investments, such as renewable energy, should be focused on the long term. An abrupt change would be very disruptive to the development of viable renewable energy projects in the state.”

Building North Carolina’s clean energy economy and creating green jobs in the middle of a recession makes SB3 essential for leading the state forward. With a number of bad bills working their way through the General Assembly, North Carolinians need to defend SB3 more enthusiastically than ever before.

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