North Carolina Energy Bill Delivers Mixed Results for Clean Energy Businesses and Customers

Statement of David Kelly, EDF Manager of North Carolina Political Affairs

June 30, 2017
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396,

“Late last night, North Carolina took some steps towards a more affordable, clean, and reliable energy future for our state.

“The Competitive Energy Solutions Act will create a number of new competitive market opportunities for clean energy businesses, as well as greater choice and access to clean energy for customers. The North Carolina General Assembly passed the bill last night.

“However, given the promise of the original legislation, it is disappointing that a moratorium on new wind energy projects was included in the final compromise. The moratorium sends a terrible signal to the wind energy business community, and that may cost eastern North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars in lost investment. And the role of the U.S. Department of Defense in influencing the design and location of the Amazon-sponsored wind energy project near Elizabeth City demonstrates that existing state and federal programs designed to de-conflict wind energy projects and U.S. military operations are fulfilling their intended purpose.

“It is unfortunate that the last minute addition of a wind energy moratorium will tarnish legislation that might otherwise be regarded as a pragmatic and forward-looking evolution of state energy policy.

“The original bill was the result of almost a year of focused discussions among leading businesses, electric utilities, energy providers, and conservation advocates. It received overwhelming bipartisan support in the North Carolina House. While even that iteration of the bill had its drawbacks, it offered evidence that we can make progress when we work together  and keep the best interests of North Carolina consumers and businesses front and center. Speaker Tim Moore and Representatives John Szoka and Dean Arp deserve credit for their leadership.”

            - David Kelly, Manager of North Carolina Political Affairs, Environmental Defense Fund

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