North Carolina lawmakers support renewable energy standards

A political threat to North Carolina’s renewable energy sector has been avoided. The bill would have repealed the state’s REPS legislation. It was defeated yesterday, with six Republican members of General Assembly’s Public Utilities and Energy Committee breaking party lines to vote the bill down. The Committee Chair Mike Hager had sponsored the REPS repeal bill.

"This vote to defeat the REPS repeal bill was not just a good outcome, it was the right outcome," said Ivan Urlaub, Executive Director of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association.

Responding to the bill’s failure, the sustainable energy chamber said that the vote confirmed that clean energy policies are being recognized by public representatives. "With REPS as a pivotal battleground, clean energy gained further ground from this action over detractors looking to push a regressive agenda that would have starved renewable energy companies of investment dollars," the Sustainable Energy Association said in a statement.

While the bill was examined in the committee, the Sustainable Energy Association claims that the evidence for supporting the negative impact the REPS was having on companies and ratepayers was lacking. The bill had been introduced six weeks ago.

Local publication, the Charlotte Business Journal, has observed that while the bill was defeated in yesterday’s vote, some of its provisions may be included in other pieces of energy legislation.