Here are a few more details on the latest outrageous and inaccurate broadside launched by the North Carolina chapter of the Koch brothers-funded group known as Americans for Prosperity. As was explained in this space yesterday, AFP made the absurd claim that North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard — a modest law designed to help North Carolina begin to kick its heroin-like addiction to fossil fuels — “strangles” the “entire NC economy.” As pointed out here yesterday, this is simply untrue:
“Even if one conceded that the REPS somehow raises consumer electric bills in any significant way — something that is simply not true — North Carolina’s electric rates are currently below the national average. This is true in all categories — residential, commercial industrial, transportation and overall. Heck, North Carolina residential consumers pay less for electricity than Texans! North Carolina commercial and industrial consumers pay less than West Virginia businesses! Click here to review the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. How could such rates be ‘strangling’ the economy?”
Later in the day yesterday, AFP attempted to defend its outrageous claim by pointing in two tweets to a statement in a March 2015 report written by McCrory administration officials. Here’s the supposedly damning language:
“North Carolina remains the only state in the Southeast to have enacted a REPS. As a result of this geographic isolation, long-term energy prices may adversely impact economic growth and challenge recent improvements in employment in North Carolina.”
To which, all a sane person can say in response is: How in the world can that be interpreted as confirmation of the assertion that REPS “strangles” the economy? Earth to AFP: Check your Merriam-Webster. “May adversely impact” does not mean “strangles.”
Add to this the fact that the “may adversely effect” language represents one sentence in a sometimes misleading 36 page report with myriad observations and conclusions about REPS and energy generally AND that it was written by employees of the McCrory administration’s decimated and thoroughly cowed Department of Environment and Natural Resources AND that the actual facts on the ground show the price of electricity in North Carolina to be well below the national average AND that other analysis shows that REPS is actually saving consumers millions and it becomes evident that the AFP folks are just making stuff up.
The plain and simple fact of the matter is that renewable energy represents North Carolina’s future — both for its economy and its environment. And no amount of fossil fuel industry funded propaganda is going to change this reality.