NC General Assembly Sets First Renewable Standard in the Southeast

August 2, 2007
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Michael Shore, 828-582-3141 (c)
Jane Preyer, 919-881-2912 or 919-740-6727 (c)

(Raleigh, NC - August 2, 2007) Environmental Defense today applauded the NC General Assembly for passage of energy legislation (Senate Bill 3) that will establish a 12.5% renewable and efficiency portfolio standard (RPS), making the state the first in the Southeast to use this strategy to tackle global warming pollution. North Carolina now becomes the 25th state in the nation to set an RPS, which requires utilities to meet a certain percentage of energy demand with renewable sources and efficiency measures.

"The best way for North Carolina to reduce global warming pollution and avoid new coal and nuclear plants is to increase the use of renewable energy and expand energy efficiency," said Michael Shore, senior policy analyst for Environmental Defense. "Years from now lawmakers will look back and see this policy as the turning point toward a clean energy economy."

"Senate bill 3 was a broad energy bill, and it was far from perfect. However, thanks to leaders in the House of Representatives, the bill was greatly strengthened. S 3 will reduce the state's carbon dioxide footprint by at least 13 million metric tons by 2018. That's equivalent to taking more than a million cars off the road. That's a big step," said Shore.

"This is the first concrete action in the Southeast to take significant tons of global warming pollution out of the air," said Jane Preyer, director of the NC regional office of Environmental Defense. "This RPS sets an example for other states in the region to follow."

"Despite its merits, the legislation has shortcomings, and the job is not over," said Preyer. "North Carolina must still set strong environmental standards for energy generation from hog waste and ensure that the utilities look to efficiency and renewables rather than coal and nuclear power."