The Right and the ridiculous renewables debate

A important round in the battle over the state’s energy future comes today in the House Commerce Committee. Lawmakers will be debating the absurdly named Affordable and Reliable Energy Act which would repeal the state’s modest renewable energy standard for utility companies that was passed in 2007.

Americans for the Prosperous and the Lockers are leading the charge in North Carolina to repeal the common sense requirement that the companies buy a small percentage of their power from wind or solar or other renewable resources.  Quite a radical notion indeed.

Nationally the repeal push is part of the ALEC agenda and lately Grover “shrink government down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub” Norquist has weighed in to support the North Carolina repeal efforts.

What Norquist and the rest of Right Wing Avenue don’t tell you that is that there are more than 1,100 clean energy companies in North Carolina and the renewable energy industry created more than 21,000 jobs in the last five years. The N.C. Sustainable Energy Association has that compelling story

And contrary to all the propaganda flying out from the Koch/Pope world, there is NO evidence that renewable standards have increased rates for consumers in North Carolina or any of the other 28 states that have adopted the standards.

Here is a good summary from the National Resource Defense Council of the importance of the standards and the nationally orchestrated attacks from the Koch empire.

The whole debate is rather absurd. We can choose to create jobs and invest in cleaner energy or ignore the science and the future and the jobs and keeping burying our heads in the sand—and oil.

The public gets it—even 75 percent of Republicans support the increased use of renewable energy resources.  We’ll know soon if lawmakers are listening to the people they represent or the  big money folks funding their campaigns and bankrolling the right-wing propaganda outfits.


  1. Alex

    April 3, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Most of the clean energy job estimates are much lower both statewide and nationwide. Many of these jobs were already there , and have been simply re-classified to hype this movement. If you want to call a bus driver a clean energy job, it’s all semantics but not real job creation. The real truth is that renewable sources will never meet more than 5-10% of our energy needs in the future no matter how much we spend on them. Storage problems for solar and distribution problems with wind make it impossible to get away from conventional fossil fuels to meet peak demand. Right now, nothing can compete with cheap natural gas.

  2. Doug

    April 3, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I have no problem with some initial research money going to renewables, but these schemes are not going to be able to live on their own without being propped up for decades…if ever. This is another one of those ponzi schemes that the liberals like to dream up because it just feels so gosh darn good that we are saving the earth.

    As far as the 21000 “job years” there is no such measure used in a reputable economic analysis, there is either a person employed at one of these companies or not. Guess they don’t want to reveal that number since 21000 “feels good” on paper.

    As far as paying more for renewables on the bills…well lets see my power company has a line item for green mandate…..Duke Power admits their costs of energy are going up due to the green mandate….it is a known fact that the power generated as renewable costs more. You libs should like this one….it just “feels right” that power bills are going up due to this.

  3. Alex

    April 3, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I always wonder what happened to the 3 Million green jobs that Obama promised in 2008 ! Nothing but an illusion to fire up the gullible greenies. Like most of his promises, this one will never be realized.

  4. jlp75

    April 3, 2013 at 10:10 am

    People told the Wright Brothers that they couldn’t fly. They didn’t let that defeatist attitude deter them. If you don’t start somewhere you never get anywhere. The first Wright Brothers flight was only 120 feet. Not enough to get to England so they should have quit I suppose. This is exactly what you are saying. If you wait for the technology to catch up it is already too late. You have to set a goal and research and develop the technology. No one has said that the entire grid will be powered by wind. There is no reason why it cannot be part of an energy portfolio though. The entire grid is not currently powered through natural gas, guess we should forget about that and go back to oil. Nuclear provides only a percentage, might as well shut that down too. Why not just shut the whole grid down and go back to kerosene lamps? When John F. Kennedy said we were going to the moon, we did not have the technology. We developed the technology and in so doing created many off shoot products and discoveries that have fueled private sector commerce for decades. You no doubt use countless products on a daily basis that were developed using knowledge from the space program. You people just want to stick your heads in the sand and give up. What happens when the ability to produce oil is no longer able to meet the growing demand? Then you will start looking for alternatives? Too late.

  5. gregflynn

    April 3, 2013 at 10:41 am

    If these DougAlex comments had any merit they wouldn’t need to be punctuated with trash talk like “you libs” and “gullible greenies”.

    Coal and nuclear provide 90% of NC electricity, primarily base load – not so nimble for peak load. The balance is about 4% gas, 4% hydro (technically renewable), 2% new renewable. Energy security requires diversity. Cost shifting has always been essential to energy accounting. Duke/Progress spent about $1 billion trying to get the Crystal River nuclear plant back on line before abandoning it. That cost had to go somewhere. Renewables are an important part of peak shaving and reducing the need for additional base load.

  6. Doug

    April 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    so “you libs” is now forbidden in the PC dictonary. I knew it was a bad word in Conservative circles, but assumed the members would wear the label with pride in the same way our group does. Who knew what is the preferred name to call you guys now? Or are you guys so holy you have an unsayable name?

    By the way…there has been plenty of trash talk toward myself, even when I agree with the subject. So glass houses and all……

  7. Doug

    April 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    here is just one example…I was called “ignorant conservative” on this page: I did not see greg calling out jlp75 for his “trash talk”..


  8. Alex

    April 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Flynn never seems to have a problem with the vitriolic chatter emanating from esmay’s keyboard. Not a surprise !

  9. jlp75

    April 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Ignorance is not an insult, it is a state of knowledge on a particular subject. We are all ignorant on certain topics. If you believe that all liberals are communists than you are obviously ignorant about what communism is. That is not name calling it is an observation. Are there Communists in this country? Probably. Would they perhaps attempt to align with Democrats since we only have two choices? Perhaps. However, to characterize all liberals as Communists is again naive at worst or disingenuous at best. white supremacists and Nazis align with the right, yet I have never characterized all conservatives as either.

  10. david esmay

    April 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Doug, calling you an ignorant conservative is not trash talking. Though it is overstating the obvious.

  11. Alex

    April 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I guess that proves my point david ! Bluster is no substitute for knowledge.

  12. Doug

    April 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm


  13. Doug

    April 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Like I have said, the scientific law of Ignorance of Liberalism runs rampant. Especially when there are actaul facts that contradict their bluster:

    News from elsewhere:

    and here is one from our local Goodmon owned liberal media outlet stating that an 11% hike is at least in part due to renewable mandates

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