News broke today that there will be another hearing tomorrow on North Carolina Rep. Mike Hager’s bill to repeal the state’s expensive energy mandate in the NC House Public Utilities & Energy Committee. Below is the letter that ATR President Grover Norquist sent to committee members in support of Rep. Hager’s bill to repeal this costly regulatory holdover from North Carolina’s Easley-Perdue era:
Dear Members of the House Committee on Public Utilities & Energy,
On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and our members across North Carolina, I write today in support of HB 298, legislation that would do away with the state’s costly renewable energy mandate. North Carolina’s renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) mandates that utilities in the state generate 7.5% of their electricity from more costly and less reliable sources of energy by 2021. This misguided policy acts much like a hidden tax. By driving up utility bills, the state’s RPS needlessly decreases the job-creating capacity of North Carolina employers at a time when the state’s unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation and leaves North Carolina families with less disposable income.
This command and control policy forces utility companies to procure energy from more costly and less reliable sources; with the increased costs passed on to consumers in the form of higher utility bills. Experience has shown that renewable energy mandates, like the one on the books in North Carolina, have a negative impact on the economy and an adverse impact on your constituents’ pocketbooks.
On average, states with renewable energy mandates have electricity costs nearly 40% higher than states that do not according to the Institute for Energy Research. In fact, a recent study by the John Locke Foundation found that the state’s RPS, if allowed to stand, would impose a net cost on the North Carolina economy of $1.8 billion through 2021. This economically destructive policy will result in less take-home pay, less investment in-state, and fewer job opportunities for your constituents (nearly 3,600 less jobs, according to the John Locke study).
ATR urges you to support HB 298, which would repeal this ill-advised mandate. Legislators in Raleigh should continue to focus on policies that allow the private sector to grow and create jobs and full repeal of the state’s expensive energy mandate is a great way to do that. ATR will be following this issue closely and educating your constituents as to how their representatives in the General Assembly vote on this important matter.
To view a PDF copy of the letter, click here.