North Carolina will be the first state in the South East to adopt a renewable energy standard if Gov. Easley signs the energy bill into law. Senate Bill 3 ( I sponsored the original companion, House Bill 77, with Representatives Martin, Harrell, and Justice) requires North Carolina utility providers to obtain 12.5 percent of retail electricity from renewable energy. It also provides sweeteners for the utilities to construct new nuclear and coal-fired power plants. The bill should to help cut pollution, greenhouse gas levels, and our dependence on foreign oil.