North Carolina Renewable Energy Standard Fight in 2013

In North Carolina in 2013, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) member and State Representative Mike Hager was the chief sponsor of a bill attacking the state's RES. He was joined by at least seven other ALEC members in sponsoring the bill.

Hager’s bill started as a full repeal, but amendments turned it into a RES-weakening bill by freezing RES targets, repealing the solar carve-out, which sets aside part of the standard for solar energy, and allowing existing hydro and energy efficiency to qualify for the renewable energy standard.

Rep. Hager's bill, HB 298, was voted down 18-13 in the House Committee on Public Utilities and Energy, which he chairs, in a show of bipartisan support for the clean energy law.

Concurrently, the Senate companion bill, SB 365, stalled in another committee after Senator Bill Rabon, the co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, forced the ALEC-backed bill through the Finance Committee without a vote count. Over the protests of dissenting Senators calling for a vote count, Rabon declared that the bill had passed and adjourned the committee. 

Rep. Hager promised more attempts to undo RES. He is now appealing to Governor Pat McCrory's Blue Ribbon Study Commission to alter the renewable energy standard. 

Koch Industries-funded Americans for Prosperity spearheaded a letter signed by 16 anti-clean energy groups, many of whom receive funding from fossil fuel interests targeting North Carolina legislators. 

The Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) published a flawed report with the John Locke Foundation attacking the North Carolina RES.

Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform also penned an op-ed in Politico that specifically focused on North Carolina and repeated the same flawed economic data from BHI.

 

 

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