The House Energy and Energy Efficiency Committee, which I chair, continued consideration of Senate Bill 3, the renewable energy and efficiency portfolio standard (REPS)/baseload bill. Representatives Grier Martin, Jim Harrell, Carolyn Justice, and I had sponsored the House companion to the REPS part of the bill, House Bill 77. As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, this well intentioned bill, originally proposed to move us toward a more sustainable energy future, has been loaded up with sweeteners for the utilities. We have had several hours of hearings and discussion on the bill and hope to make some well needed changes to the bill before it is voted out of the Energy Committee this Monday. It then must go to the Committees on Public Utilities and Finance. Public opposition to the bill is heating up, with consumer advocates and most environmentalists opposed to the bill and most of the business community in favor of it. The Governor's office has also expressed concerns with the bill.
The Charlotte Observer and News and Observer have written excellent editorials on the bill, with links posted below.
Editorial: Fix it or Hold it
Editorial: Power Plays