North Carolina Rejects Cuts to Renewable Energy MandatesChristopher Martin
North Carolina lawmakers today rejected efforts to scale back the use of renewable energy.
The House Public Utilities Committee voted 18 to 13 against the Affordable & Reliable Energy Act, said Ivan Urlaub, executive director of NC Sustainable Energy Association, which has been fighting the effort to reduce policies that require utilities to use power generated from clean sources.
North Carolina is one of 16 states considering legislation to roll back renewable-energy requirements, more than half of the 29 states that have implemented so-called renewable portfolio standards.
“Legislators are understanding the economic benefits of clean energy,” Urlaub said in an e-mail.
The legislation voted down today would have capped utilities’ required purchases of renewable energy at 6 percent of demand in 2015, half the current target, and eliminate the requirement in 2021. It was opposed by Representative Ruth Samuelson, a committee member whose legislative assitant confirmed the vote count in a phone interview today.
Being rejected by the committe means the bill is unlikely to advance, House Majority Whip Mike Hager said before the vote. Hager, a Republican who chairs the committee and introduced the bill, didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail left at his office.