January 2, 2023

RALEIGH – A statement from Amy O. Cooke, CEO of the John Locke Foundation:

“While China emits enough carbon dioxide to eliminate any gains North Carolina makes in a matter of minutes, the NC Utilities Commission has chosen to saddle our state’s ratepayers with an energy plan that guarantees higher bills and colder homes over the winter.

“Our early analysis of the Utilities Commission’s report indicates it may not fully comply with House Bill 951, a bipartisan law passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Roy Cooper.

“Although the report includes some encouraging language regarding reliable, baseload energy sources, it’s concerning that the only directives include procurement of large amounts of unreliable, intermittent sources upfront and the shuttering of 9000 MW of baseload coal. This means North Carolinians could face even longer and more severe rolling blackouts than what ratepayers experienced on Christmas Eve.

“We urge the General Assembly to conduct immediate oversight hearings on the NCUC process to ensure compliance with HB 951, which requires prioritizing reliability and affordability.

“Rather than pander to a handful of well-funded special interest groups, we urge decision makers to adopt a clean, reliable energy plan that minimizes the financial burden on ratepayers and increases grid reliability and security. The John Locke Foundation’s Energy Crossroads plan provides an innovative, affordable, and reliable way forward.

“We would be happy to work with both the Utilities Commission and Duke Energy to ensure North Carolinians continue to enjoy affordable and reliable energy for years to come.”