Super-powerful industry that can transform the state somehow can’t get off life support

The state’s most proudly dependent and unsustainable crony industry is desperate to stay on permanent life support. It is keeping the legislature awash in rent-seeking industry propaganda. Major corporate beneficiaries of solar cronyism in North Carolina have chimed in — and you will note the dog-not-barking sham of self-styled anti-corporate-favoritism media cheering it all on.

Today it’s Hugh McColl Jr., former chairman and CEO of Bank of America, writing in The News & Observer with the latest rendition of the weirdly selfdefeating solar industry double claim of being (a) incredibly strong and vibrant but only so long as (b) the state continues to prop it up or else it will suffer the fate of Ozymandias.

NC solar industry is incredibly strong

  • “Solar could make NC the next Silicon Valley”
  • “It is not out of our reach. We have the talent and the universities. We have some of the world’s largest energy and energy-efficiency companies, including Siemens, AREVA, Babcock & Wilcox, Cree and Duke Energy, the nation’s largest utility. We certainly have the capital. Major financial institutions employ thousands of North Carolinians and are actively investing in new energy globally.”
  • “Critics of solar do not understand that it is here to stay.”
  • “Solar is now close to competing with conventional sources of energy such as natural gas, coal and nuclear.”
  • “… more than 23,000 jobs and $3 billion investment.”
  • “Solar is here to stay.”

NC solar industry is incredibly weak

  • “However, our legislature is debating changing North Carolina’s renewable energy policies mid-stream and removing the renewable energy tax credit abruptly instead of phasing it down from 35 percent of cost to lower amounts overtime. Such action would be premature and bad for business.”
  • “North Carolina’s renewable energy policies and tax credits have created more than 23,000 jobs and $3 billion investment.”
  • “Solar is here to stay. The question is, will it stay in North Carolina?”

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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