June 1, 2022
RALEIGH – The John Locke Foundation has launched a new center to protect and expand freedom in the vital policy areas of agriculture, energy, and the environment. The newly created Center for Food, Power, and Life (CFPL) will focus on enhancing North Carolinians’ lives by improving their access to food, power, and more of life’s needs and wants.
North Carolinians are facing higher grocery bills, record gas prices, and tear-inducing rate hikes on their electricity bills. Now, more than ever, our state needs an advocate focused on making life’s necessities more affordable and accessible for everyone.
Heading up this center is Locke’s Jon Sanders. Sanders says, “This center will focus on helping North Carolina’s people, our consumers and producers, achieve their best in these essential areas of life. Too often, policy discussions of agriculture, energy, and the environment are driven by lobbyists, special interests, and bureaucrats. It can be easy to forget all the ways they impact North Carolina families, businesses, and local employers.”
One of CFPL’s primary focuses is reducing “energy poverty” – the number of households spending a disproportionate amount of their income on energy expenses. One in three US families struggle to pay their energy bills, and when heating and cooling a home becomes unaffordable, the consequences can be deadly.
“Through research, briefs, discussions, illustrations, collaboration, and shared insights,” the center’s vision states, “CFPL aims to expand freedom in the policy areas of agriculture, energy, and the environment, which we believe will enhance North Carolinians’ lives by better access to food, power, and more of life’s needs and wants.”
The center’s first report covers proposed offshore wind facilities off North Carolina’s coast. The paper analyzes the costs and impacts of both the wind farm project and Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order to develop 8 GW of offshore wind in North Carolina by 2040. The report finds that, to achieve such a goal, residential electricity bills would increase by $400–$500 per year. Not only would this project lead to spiraling electricity costs, but it would harm North Carolina’s unique coastal ecological environments, jeopardize the fishing industry that puts food on grocery shelves, and diminish tourism and property values in coastal communities near the wind energy areas.
“We live in the greatest state in the greatest country. We are blessed with abundant resources and an innovative spirit to problem solve and thrive. Given all of this, it’s head-scratching to live at a time when costs to power your car and your home are skyrocketing and grocery store shelves are bare,” says Locke CEO Amy O. Cooke. “That’s why I’m proud to announce the establishment of our latest project – the Center for Food, Power, and Life. We’ll lead the way on offering public policy solutions that provide North Carolinians the freedom to enjoy all of nature’s bounties without wreaking havoc on their pocketbooks.”