Thursday, August 30, 2007

Greetings From Raleigh 08-30-07

This week's newsletter highlights some of our energy related bills from this session. It is becoming abundantly clear that we are having a potentially inalterable impact on the earth's climate, seemingly directly related to our carbon emissions. Scientists say that if we don't act soon to reduce our carbon emissions, we will be close to reaching a tipping point of catastrophic climate change by 2015. NC ranks 24th in the world in carbon emissions (more than many similarly-sized countries) and we must act immediately to reduce our contribution to this problem. It is also clear that fossil fuel resources, particularly oil, are not infinite, and many of them are located in parts of the world that don't like us very much.

To support the tremendous growth we expect in North Carolina over the next 20 years, we have to work now to make better use of renewable energy, find alternative fuels, and to find more and better ways to conserve energy. North Carolina took some important steps this session toward establishing energy independence and implementing a more sustainable energy future , led in large part by Speaker Hackney's commitment to these issues.

We became the first state in the Southeast to set a renewable energy portfolio standard (REPS). We resolved to cut energy use in state buildings, and we agreed to make it more affordable for people to use and produce biofuels and bioenergy.

In the years ahead, these types of initiatives will become increasingly important to maintaining our strong economy and our quality of life.

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