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A novel justification for governments heavily subsidizing otherwise unsustainable, expensive, inefficient renewable energy is to argue that all energy sources get subsidies. The general assertion is true as far as that goes. Still, the argument is often used as a variant of...
The final batch of solar and other renewable energy projects requested under the "safe harbor" law enacted in April by the General Assembly could cost North Carolina taxpayers as much as $937,804,785 in credits, according to aggregated figures released Wednesday by the North Carolina Department...
A lengthy article in Forbes details why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's unprecedented "Clean Power Plan" (CPP) is not just a destructive and likely illegal regulatory overreach, but also impossible given what the author calls the "weird" physics of electricity.
The rhetorical case for renewable energy seems, at its core, to be this: Why rely on traditional sources that burn expensive energy and emit carbon dioxide when you can replace them with energy freely provided by nature that emits nothing?
It is now being acknowledged by even its staunchest supporters that the solar industry in North Carolina is completely a creature of government mandates and subsidies and could never stand on its own without wealth transfers from taxpayers and rate payers. In other words, it is completely welfare...
The previous newsletter discussed in brief how the renewable energy lobby has, over decades, been promising politicians and voters some things they have yet to achieve. Those promises are that...
In 2005, the North Carolina General Assembly established a 35 percent credit for investing in renewable energy. This credit was slated to sunset at the end of 2010. By 2010-11, the Tax Research Division of the Department of Revenue estimated, the credits taken would cost the state $5.65 million...
The term "stakeholders" is used in policy debates frequently. It sounds good and steeped in important involvement. It seems less detached and predatory than "interested parties." It's an accepted convention of speech.
For those of us who have been fighting to eliminate solar and other renewable energy subsidies from the burden being born by North Carolina's taxpayers, the new state budget is very welcome. As of January 1, the 35 percent tax credit for renewables in general and solar in particular, by far the...
This week's newsletter takes a look at renewable energy facilities in the news. For example, a new study from the Carnegie Institution for Science and Stanford University found a surprising (to researchers) ecological cost of solar installations in California, which has a much more aggressive...
This year's legislative session turned out to be an ideological struggle, not between Republicans and Democrats but between two factions within the Republican Party. This tension goes to the heart of one's belief in free markets as the most moral and efficient way to organize economic activity...
An environmental group lauding North Carolina for ranking No. 4 nationally in solar energy capacity agrees with foes of renewable energy mandates -- the state's purported boom in clean energy mostly results from the government forcing utilities to purchase the higher-cost energy, along with...
Despite earlier claims by Iberdrola Renewables officials that the $400 million, 300-megawatt Amazon Wind Farm that will cover 22 acres near Elizabeth City would be built totally from company funds, another Iberdrola official says the project requires some tax incentives to be viable economically.
North Carolinians are forced to pay twice to prop up the state's renewable energy lobby: once in the form of higher taxes and again for higher electric bills to support a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS).
North Carolina taxpayers are about to get stuck with a big bill - if the General Assembly continues the state's "Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard" (REPS) and renewable energy tax credit policies.
The FY 2015-16 North Carolina state budget has finally been finalized. Was it worth the wait? Rather than wading through 400 pages of text, you can read here about the ten most interesting and important aspects of the budget in this article.
This series, entitled "Cut This, Go Home," includes several budget items that should no longer receive taxpayer funding because they fall well outside the legitimate, core functions of government.
WRAL's Laura Leslie wrote about an Energy Forum held at the Legislature yesterday organized by opponents of renewable energy programs. (Translation from WRAL speak: opponents to taxpayer-funded renewable energy programs.) The central theme of Leslie's article seems to be the famous "Koch Brothers."
On net, this year's final budget deal can be viewed positively by conservatives. Tipping the scales in favor of the spending plan include: a net tax cut of nearly $400 million over two years, allowing the renewable energy tax credit to expire, elimination of taxpayer support for the highly...
The rhetorical case for renewable energy seems, at its core, to be this: Why rely on traditional sources that burn expensive energy and emit carbon dioxide when you can replace them with energy freely provided by nature that emits nothing?
An interesting item suddenly appeared this week in the N.C. Senate farm bill. This item made its appearance a few short days after the new state budget was finally approved. Among other things, the new budget ended North Carolina's longtime, exceedingly generous 35 percent investment tax credit...
This year's legislative session turned out to be an ideological struggle, not between Republicans and Democrats, but between two factions within the Republican Party. (The factions exist outside the GOP as well, but Republicans control the governor's office and hold supermajorities to make...
The Senate Finance Committee on April 2 approved a bill with bipartisan support to extend by one year eligibility for the state's 35 percent renewable energy tax credit. The legislation is intended to provide "a soft landing " to large solar projects already in the regulatory approval and...
As the legislature comes back into session, there is a renewed focus on what are typically referred to as economic incentives, or by many who are more skeptical of such programs, corporate welfare or simply cronyism. Programs that are and will continue to be debated are subsidies to...
There's a corner in my house that is highly attractive to cats. In a few short years, this place has gone from somewhere no cat would ever be seen to an area heavily visited by kitties. One might describe this spot as an Emerging Leader in Cat Corners.
Renewable energy lobbyists wailed that the mere appearance of a bill to repeal North Carolina's renewable energy portfolio standards mandate "dramatically disrupts" investment and jobs in renewable energy and "sends shock waves" through the industry.
There is currently a bill in the legislature, introduced and sponsored by Representative Chris Millis, that would phase out North Carolina's coercive renewable energy mandates, which were passed in 2007. At the present time, North Carolina requires that utility companies provide 12.5 percent of...
In 2013, RTI International teamed with LaCapra Associates to report on "The Economic, Utility Portfolio, and Rate Impact of Clean Energy Development in North Carolina." Prepared for the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA), the report made fantastic findings that North Carolina's...
A new study this week estimated that North Carolina's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards (RPS) has increased electricity costs by $276 million, and that the bulk of those costs are concentrated on commercial electricity consumers and residential consumers...
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