Three days before taking the oath of office , Governor-elect Pat McCrory told bankers and other business leaders that he will use his first term to reform the state’s tax code, improve education, and expand energy exploration.
McCrory said his administration will immediately take action to form coalitions with Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia and negotiate with the federal government on offshore natural gas and oil drilling:
“We think we have a responsibility to do it, and we oughta contribute to the energy independence of our country, and North Carolina should no longer stand on the sidelines,” said McCrory.
McCrory said the state would also move as quick as possible looking at inland gas exploration.
The governor-elect did not mention the role of renewables or green energy in his brief remarks before the North Carolina Bankers Association.
Over the holidays Rep. Mike Hager , the House’s new Republican majority whip, pledged to freeze legislation  that mandates utilities derive an increasing amount of their power through the sale of solar, wind or biomass.
In 2007, North Carolina became the first state in the Southeast to adopt a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard . Lawmakers could revisit that landmark piece of legislation in the upcoming legislative session.
To hear McCrory’s remarks on energy exploration in the New Year, click below. To hear his full speech, visit WRAL.com , which streamed Tuesday’s forum: