July 1, 2024

John Locke Foundation Nominated for State Policy Network’s Prestigious “Most Influential Research” Award


Raleigh, NC – The John Locke Foundation is honored to announce its nomination for the State Policy Network’s Bob Williams “Most Influential Research” Award. This prestigious recognition is awarded to organizations whose original research has significantly influenced academia, media, or policy-making arenas.

The nomination recognizes the groundbreaking research conducted by the John Locke Foundation, particularly the “Energy Crossroads” study. This comprehensive analysis was initiated in response to Governor Roy Cooper’s 2017 Clean Energy Plan, which aimed to cut electricity-based greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through the adoption of solar and wind energy. The Foundation’s research provided critical insights into the economic and practical implications of the proposed plan, highlighting potential risks and offering viable alternatives.

Governor Cooper’s Clean Energy Plan, though ambitious, was projected to significantly increase electricity costs for North Carolina residents, particularly impacting those on fixed and lower incomes. The plan’s heavy reliance on solar and wind energy—deemed unreliable and costly—posed a substantial risk to the state’s energy affordability and reliability, according to Duke Energy’s cost estimates and future grid scenario modeling.

The John Locke Foundation’s “Energy Crossroads” research offered a detailed examination of North Carolina’s energy future, presenting lawmakers with a choice between two divergent paths: one leading to energy abundance and affordability, and the other to potential austerity, characterized by rolling blackouts and escalating electricity prices. The study emphasized the need for a balanced and pragmatic approach to energy policy that ensures grid reliability, maintains affordability, and progresses toward environmental sustainability.

The impact of Locke’s research has been profound. It has led to significant policy shifts, including Duke Energy’s decision to revise its energy strategy away from an overreliance on renewables like wind and solar. This shift is set to enable North Carolina to retire coal power facilities at a sensible rate, secure grid reliability, and maintain energy affordability while moving toward a cleaner environment.

“We are incredibly proud of this nomination and the recognition it brings to our team’s diligent work,” said Donald Bryson, CEO of the John Locke Foundation. “Our goal has always been to provide actionable research that guides policy decisions so that all North Carolinians can flourish. This nomination validates our efforts and underscores the importance of thorough, evidence-based analysis in shaping effective public policy.”

The Bob Williams “Most Influential Research” Award finalists were selected based on the impact of their research publications. The John Locke Foundation’s “Energy Crossroads” stands out as a testament to the power of informed research in driving meaningful policy changes.

If you are attending SPN’s Annual Meeting, you can vote for Locke here!