Environment (page 128)

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    NC’s Own Individual Mandate

    The following is from my recent Rights & Regulation newsletter.  You can receive the newsletter by signing up here. Before there was ObamaCare, North Carolina had its own individual mandate. In 2007, the North Carolina legislature mandated that electricity customers buy electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. The law requiring this mandate, known as SB 3, in some ways is even worse than mandating the purchase of health care. At least with the ObamaCare mandate, you actually would receive health insurance. Under SB 3's energy mandate, North Carolinians will be paying, in part, to receive nothing in return. Since utility companies can buy nearly half of the required renewable energy from outside the state, North Carolinians will be paying an energy tax to subsidize electricity for people in California and other states but won't actually receive the electricity themselves. SB 3 is a mandate not to benefit North Carolinians, but to benefit the solar and wind industries, as can be seen by the requirement to subsidize out-of-state renewable energy companies.
    Daren Bakst, April 1, 2011
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    Three Out of Four Ain’t Bad (for the Solar Lobby)

    OK, the Meatloaf song is two out of three ain’t bad, but work with me here. Not to be outdone, three Senate Republicans (two primary sponsors and one a co-sponsor) are pushing the same solar lobby bill (SB 473) that would increase energy taxes on the public…
    Daren Bakst, March 31, 2011
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    Are Obama’s allies ‘radioactive’?

    The question in the headline paraphrases the provocative headline of a Washington Examiner piece from Timothy Carney. It discusses the impact of Japan's recent nuclear plant problems on the president's green-energy goals. President Obama's push to expand renewable domestic energy has put him in an awkward position following the explosions at a nuclear plant in Japan and the subsequent leakage of radiation. While Obama can still talk about solar, wind and biofuels, nuclear power is practically the only way to generate reliable and affordable energy without fossil fuels. Making things more uncomfortable for Obama, three of his most intimate corporate friends -- General Electric, Duke Energy and Exelon -- are deeply involved in nuclear energy.
    Mitch Kokai, March 31, 2011
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    Repeal SB3

    Representative George Cleveland has introduced House Bill 431 “Repeal Senate Bill 3 of the 2007 Session.”  As I have  pointed out in the past, SB3 is North Carolina’s own cap and tax legislation. The bill caps the amount of electricity that can come from inexpensive energy sources like…
    Roy Cordato, March 30, 2011
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    Why I am not (and never will be) a Republican–reason #HB495

    As Daren notes in his post below 3 of the 4 sponsors of this special interest legislation–a bill that will have absolutely no environmental benefits but will impose additional costs on consumers–are Republicans. They are Ruth Samuelson, Tom Murry, and Tim Moffitt. The more things change the more…
    Roy Cordato, March 30, 2011
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    Favors for The Powerful Solar Lobby

    A new bill (HB 495) was introduced in the House that would require utilities to double the amount of solar power they have to buy in order to meet the 7.5% renewable energy mandate of SB 3. Further, the bill would allow utility companies to meet the 7.5% mandate…
    Daren Bakst, March 30, 2011
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    Good news, America! The ‘Great Recession’ means emissions are down!

    Great-great-great-great grandchildren are dancing in the streets of the future! This is winning. U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill shares the joyous tidings: Now you might hate polar bears so much as to wonder why thinking lower emissions since it requires a prolonged recession is good, but that would…
    Jon Sanders, March 29, 2011
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    Just what we need: More movies about global warming

    James Lileks’ latest National Review column ponders the United Nations’ efforts to convince Hollywood to draw more attention to “the dangers of global warming.” ”Usually I speak to prime ministers and presidents, but that has its limits,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who arrived in Los…
    Mitch Kokai, March 28, 2011