As the N.C. House begins debate over whether to overturn the state’s Renewable Energy and Energy Portfolio Standard, WRALTechWire reaches out to both sides of the issue to make their case for keeping or dumping the law.

The stakes are high – and expensive.

Either state residents will save money on utility rates and the economy will generate jobs.

Or residents will pay higher utility bills and economic benefits – such as new jobs – will be difficult to determine.

Those are the two sides of the argument.

The N.C. General Assembly is scheduled to begin debate on House Bill 298, which would repeal the “green energy” bill.


The law should not be changed, says the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association.

Ivan Urlaub, Executive Director, NC Sustainable Energy Association, says:

“When you have something that works you stick with it. That’s common sense. North Carolina currently has a policy in place, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), which has proven not only to work, but to be a veritable workhorse when it comes to bringing investment, innovation, jobs, and cost savings to our state. Now the North Carolina General Assembly has before it a proposal, House Bill 298, which would repeal the REPS law. You’ve heard of throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Well HB 298 would throw the baby out with the bathwater, and then move on to chuck the tub out the window too for good measure.”

The full OpEd is available online.


The opposing view comes from the John Locke Foundation.

Jon Sanders, director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, writes:

“A bill currently before the state House, H.B. 298, introduced by Rep. Mike Hager, would effectively cap North Carolina’s renewable energy portfolio standards — a state mandate that requires electric utilities to provide 7.5 percent of their power from renewable energy sources, including especially wind and solar, that are far more expensive than conventional sources. The John Locke Foundation has long argued that the mandate, established in 2007 under SB 3, would raise electricity rates and harm the state’s economy through net losses in jobs, investment, GDP, and disposable income.”

The full OpEd can be read online.

Both sides have study data to support their point of view.

Regardless of the political rhetoric that will be on display at the General Assembly, the consequences of the proposed legislation are real.

A reasoned, thorough debate of the pros and cons of the existing legislation is something North Carolina citizens deserve – not just bomb throwing.

Let’s hope the legislators reach beyond petty politics and find a solution that can reconcile the major differences on both sides of the issue.