Commentary

Attacks on renewable energy continue in Raleigh

Reporter John Murawski of Raleigh’s News & Observer has another story this morning on the latest conservative attack on renewable energy in the General Assembly. Here’s the introduction:

“Green energy advocates are aghast at the latest energy proposal in the state legislature to regulate wind farms and solar farms, a bill they say would turn North Carolina into the nation’s most hostile state for renewables.

The legislation, introduced last week by two Republican state senators, would impose a host of financial hurdles and safety precautions, in some instances stricter than North Carolina’s standards for coal-burning power plants and nuclear power plants….

The bill would require a wind farm or solar farm to be built at least a 1 1/2 miles away from a neighboring property line. Even at that distance, a solar farm would have to be concealed behind a perimeter of hedges and native landscaping. A wind farm could not generate more than 35 decibels of noise, as measured from the neighboring property, which is equivalent to the volume of humans whispering.

Renewables advocates say it’s the most aggressive and sweeping attempt yet to undermine renewable energy in the state, building on momentum from last year’s elimination of a 35 percent state tax credit for renewable energy development.”
Meanwhile, an editorial in this morning’s Fayetteville Observer points out that that state is chasing away solar energy jobs that soldiers at Fort Bragg are training to take on:

“More than 250 service members have participated in the program in the last year at bases across the country. The Energy Department is about to double the size of the program, which can be completed up to four months before a service member leaves the military.

For FTCC, the program is a natural. The college already runs transition training programs for soldiers in several career fields. And the solar industry is booming here in eastern North Carolina, where the geography and weather conditions are close to perfect.

We hope word of all this activity reaches Raleigh soon. The General Assembly has all but abandoned support for the renewable-energy industry, just as it’s becoming mainstream. Lawmakers refused to continue incentives for the solar industry, which most likely will drive the industry to the open arms of neighboring states, just as the General Assembly purged the film industry.

The Defense and Energy departments have seen the future and it’s solar. We’re training the industry’s future employees here. Shouldn’t we keep them here?”

You really can’t make this stuff up. As our planet suffers, state leaders continue to do the precise opposite of what is needed. As is the case in so many areas, state leaders seem obsessed with combating modernity in energy production and sticking to the high pollution practices of the past century.

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