Senate committee ignores objections, rolls back renewable energy standard (video)

Members of the Senate Finance Committee advanced legislation Wednesday to rollback the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.

Under that landmark legislation passed in 2007, North Carolina electric utilities were required to generate 3% of their energy needs through renewable resources, with that percentage increasing every three years.

Senator Andrew Brock’s proposed bill this session would cap the renewable energy requirement at 3%, with the mandate ending in 2023.

Farmers along with representatives of the Pork Council and Farm Bureau urged lawmakers not to alter or weaken the program that encouraged innovation.

A vice president for Murphy-Brown, the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest producer of pork products, stressed that backing away from the clean energy plan would only sour investments and partnerships built over the last six years:

“I am telling you that the investors, the bankers, and the technology providers have sent a very clear signal to us – without Senate Bill 3, you won’t see us again,” said Don Butler. “You would be jerking the rug from under those people who have invested tens of millions of dollars.”

Senator Bob Rucho said they would have more time to study those concerns in the Senate Commerce Committee. Senate Bill 365  advanced on a voice vote, with Republicans rejecting calls by Democrats for an individual headcount recording how each member voted.

Click below to watch Butler’s appeal and hear lawmakers vote:


  1. Frances Jenkins

    May 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Clayton you are not telling the truth!!!!!! They had the votes.

  2. gregflynn

    May 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    You can add add the exclamation points you want Frances but it still doesn’t change the fact the chair ignored the call for division (roll call vote). If they really had the votes they could have done a count.

  3. Frances Jenkins

    May 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Was there not a greater number of R’s than the D’s? in the committee meeting? There was no evidence anyone would have voted differently other than along party line. You are straining at a knat just like Nesbit did.

  4. gregflynn

    May 2, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Well, enough Republicans voted against it to kill it in the House.

  5. Frances Jenkins

    May 2, 2013 at 7:03 am

    It was the Senate and it would have passed.

  6. Frances Jenkins

    May 2, 2013 at 7:07 am

    The House vote was more of a vote for for Speaker of the House than the bill.

  7. jlp75

    May 2, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Wow Frances you have shown yourself to be the partisan hack we always thought you were. Votes don’t matter, only the party of the bill sponsor. I guess we can just do away with all committee meetings, floor votes, etc. Everybody just file their bills and all bills filed by the majority party automatically become law because we all know our representatives shouldn’t be allowed to think for themselves. According to you they have a duty to vote the party line. This must be that government efficiency McCrory was talking about. Laws and democratic processes are just a waste of time, never mind that pesky Constitution. I want my representative to serve me and the people in my district, not a political party. This is unbelievable even for you. At least you have confirmed the assumption many of us had in that Republicans are incapable of independent thought and must look to an authority figure to make decisions for them. Thanks for clearing that up.

  8. david esmay

    May 2, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Legislation by ALEC pure and simple.

  9. Doug

    May 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Funny how you guys like to have government “spend” their hard earned dollars on things like subsidizing the large energy companies. I guess it is all in the percieved purpose.

    Did you notice how in the debate how Stein could not discount how this helps his cronies? An exerpt from the article:
    But in defending the job creation potential of the renewable mandates, Stein said “a buddy of mine” could lose a pending $25 million deal that would create 500 jobs, and $25 million to $75 million projects later this year because of investor uncertainty over what will happen with the renewable mandates.

    “I’m glad that you bring up the interest of your buddy, and the amount of tax credits that he receives from the federal government and state government” to contribute to his financial success, said bill sponsor Andrew Brock, R-Davie. That apparent inference to cronyism drew laughter from bill supporters and a stunned look from Stein

    “What are the long-term effects of those jobs?” Brock asked, saying most would be temporary. He likened the situation to the federal stimulus program and its long list of heavily subsidized renewable energy companies that failed despite the infusion of taxpayer money.

    “How many of those, when the stimulus went away, went under? Those jobs are gone because it doesn’t pay for itself,” Brock said. Rather than take taxpayer money out of the private market to prop up a renewable industry with short-term employment, long-term, sustainable jobs are needed to improve North Carolina’s economy, he said

    Link to full article in case you are interested in a different perspective:


  10. gregflynn

    May 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    There is no “long list of [federal stimulus program] heavily subsidized renewable energy companies that failed”. The failure rate of 8% is much less than 25%-50% venture capital failure rates. Even some claimed failures like Evergreen Solar never actually received federal funds. Bankruptcy is common in the residential building industry but that hasn’t stopped the mortgage interest deduction. If Tillman and Rucho thought they had the votes they would allowed a roll call.

  11. Doug

    May 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    These “green energy” companies are in various states of distress and are losing taxpayer money, suffering with fraud, or otherwise wasting their subsidies. I think the list is fairly long:

    Soylindra, A123, Abound Solar, Beacon Power, Ener1, Fisker Automotive, Nevada Geothermal, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, First Solar, Sunpower, Amonix, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric, Mountain Plaza Inc, Raser Technologies, Spectrawatt, Azure Dynamics, Solar Trust of America, …ready for me to stop?

    The government is not an investment vehicle….venture capitalists make investments they know will fail 30-50% of the time and are “evilly” compensated for it (to the chagrin of progressives I might add). the government is not in the business of losing money other than by the typical state of governement giving out the perks to those who do not pay in…..but that is another story altogether.

  12. Doug

    May 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    And the WH admitted to giving Evergreen Solar stimulus funds, whether you want to argue how or how much, They pretty much are on the list.


  13. gregflynn

    May 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    There is a huge difference between stimulus money allocated to a project and stimulus money given to a project. The disinformation from Newsbusters profits in making those differences ambiguous.

  14. gregflynn

    May 2, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    BTW your ignorance about these issues is profound. Johnson Controls is an extremely robust company. It was awarded a grant of $299 million to build capacity for lithium battery manufacturing. Because of market demand it opted to build half that capacity initially and has received about $139 million for that purpose. According to a recent report by Michigan Radio:

    Johnson Controls sells these new batteries to several different customers in different industries. It’s a huge global company with lots of capital, and it already has lot of experience making other kinds batteries. It makes more lead acid batteries than any company in the world. Those are the batteries used to start regular cars and trucks.

    So maybe it’s no surprise this lithium ion battery plant is doing well.

    “We’ve already put our second shift in place and we’re already looking to hire our third shift. So we’re currently going into production and we’re doing our system build for a major European manufacturer,” [plant manager] Maciejewski said.

  15. Frances Jenkins

    May 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Facts and the truth about the fairhaired boy cannot be spoken.

  16. Doug

    May 3, 2013 at 9:10 am

    OK greg,
    One for what 20 ain’t bad, guess they have other divisions in their company to further subsidize the so called green technology. Just sayin……you are still way in the hole…and Evergreen obviously benefitted from the subsidies there is no denying that fact unless you are willing to succomb to the scientfically proven law of Ignorance Of Liberalism.

  17. gregflynn

    May 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Your list is as bogus as your “scientfically proven law of Ignorance Of Liberalism”. Evergreen Solar received no federal funds. You offer pathetic distortions as Curriculum vitae for political leadership.

  18. jacqui

    May 5, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Id rarher the government be giving subsidies to reneeables than to the oil industry bc its for a cleaner healthier future.

Check Also

The week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

1. Teachers demand policy changes, cheer Cooper at ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Friends, neighbors, colleagues of commission chairman Jim Womack submit nearly identical letters cla [...]

When N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger addressed reporters last [...]

Big corporations and wealthy executives have been on quite a run. Corporate profits are at historic [...]

This week the ACLU of North Carolina announced an initiative to end cash bail in North Carolina. Reg [...]

There are a lot of important statistics that confirm just how out of whack the U.S. economy has grow [...]

The post Bite the Apple & NC’s HB2 Legacy appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

When I headed off to college, I could not have predicted that many of the funding streams, positions [...]

For those who pay only periodic attention to the ins and outs of lawmaking in the North Carolina Gen [...]

Now hiring

NC Policy Watch is now hiring a Managing Editor – click here for more info.