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Coalition to North Carolina Legislature: Repeal the Renewable Portfolio Standard

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Dear North Carolina Senators and Representatives:

The North Carolina General Assembly is considering a proposal to cap and end the current renewable portfolio standards (RPS) mandate in North Carolina. As you are aware, in 2007 the General Assembly adopted Senate Bill 3, which had an RPS mandate requiring utilities to provide customers 7.5 percent of their electricity through renewable sources of energy, such as wind, solar, or biomass. These sources are all significantly more expensive than conventional sources of power, which North Carolina's utilities voluntarily choose when they are left free to pursue truly efficient and affordable energy for North Carolina state citizens.

North Carolina's RPS mandate forces electric utilities — and therefore their customers, who are given no choice in electricity providers in the state — to purchase arbitrary amounts of electricity generated from wind and solar plants that is significantly more expensive than electricity generated from traditional sources.

According to the Energy Information Administration, electricity from new wind installations is more than 30 percent more expensive than electricity from natural gas, and electricity from solar is 120 percent more expensive. But natural gas, coal, and nuclear are also more valuable than wind and solar because these traditional sources are reliable — after all, the wind does not always blow nor does the sun always shine. These higher costs affect North Carolina families, businesses, industries, and taxpayers who pay the bills for state and local governments.

These higher electricity costs are also hurting the state's economy. According to the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, North Carolina's renewable energy mandate will cost North Carolina ratepayers $1.8 billion by 2021. Because higher electricity costs increase the cost of doing business in North Carolina, they estimated that the mandate will lead to losses of 3,600 jobs, $43 million in investment, and $140 million in GDP in the state. It will also reduce North Carolinians' disposable income by $57 million.

Electricity is a basic household necessity, not a luxury item. Hiking electricity rates works as a highly regressive tax on poor households. Electricity costs have been eating increasingly larger portions of their budgets. For ratepayers earning $30,000 a year or less, electricity constitutes from one-tenth to as much as one-third of their after-tax income.

The signed coalition of public policy research and grassroots organizations are opposed to North Carolina renewable portfolio standard. Repealing the renewable portfolio standard will go a long way toward providing reliable and affordable energy for North Carolina’s homes and manufacturing sector.

Sincerely,

 

Donald Bryson, North Carolina State Director
Americans for Prosperity
 
Francis X. De Luca, President
Civitas Institute
 
Jon Sanders, Director of Regulatory Studies
John Locke Institute
 
Jim Martin, Chairman
60 Plus Association
 
Phil Kerpen, President
American Commitment
 
Sean Noble, President
American Encore
 
Thomas J. Pyle, President
American Energy Alliance
 
Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform
 
Myron Ebell, Director, Center for Energy and Environment
Competitive Enterprise Institute
 
Matt Kibbe, President and Founder
FreedomWorks
 
Mario H. Lopez, President
Hispanic Leadership Fund
 
Joseph Bast, President and CEO
The Heartland Institute
 
Carrie Lukas, Managing Director
Independent Women's Forum
 
Heather Higgens, President and CEO
Independent Women’s Voice
 
Harry C. Alford, President/CEO
National Black Chamber of Commerce
 
Pete Sepp, President
National Taxpayers Union
 
Lance Brown , Executive Director
Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy (PACE)
 
William Whipple III, President
Secure America's Future Economy
 
Teri Christoph, Co-founder
Smart Girl Politics
 
David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
 
Judson Phillips, Founder
Tea Party Nation