Energy progress

I'm hearing much that is encouraging from the progressive grassroots in North Carolina. This latest resolution on our state's energy future is one of many positive signs. It is sensible, practical, careful and thoughtful (as distinguished from Dear Leader's ridiculously flip-flopping rhetoric).

Here's the resolution itself:

2006 North Carolina Energy Future Resolution

Whereas North Carolina is at a critical energy crossroads,

And whereas applications for the construction of new nuclear and coal generating plants are being submitted,

And whereas comprehensive energy conservation and efficiency policies can potentially reduce or replace the need for new nuclear and coal generating plants,

And whereas renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass are becoming economically competitive with conventional, more polluting generating technologies,

And whereas the current rate structure rewards electricity production only, and not energy saved,

Therefore, be it resolved that the North Carolina Legislature shall commission a comprehensive study that determines the “least cost mix of generation and demand” as required by GS 62-2(3a), and must include all costs of each energy system, including public health, environmental and other impacts of the full fuel cycle, i.e. externalities. There must be no doubt that human health and the environment are as important as low cost, reliable electricity.

Let it be further resolved that the study should include a plan to put demand reduction success into the utility rate base, and the recommendations of this study must be applied to all future decisions concerning the technologies for both supply (nuclear/coal vs wind/solar/biomass) and demand reduction (conservation and efficiency).

Let it be further resolved that no licenses be issued for new nuclear or coal generating plants except as consistent with the recommendations of the study.

I know the go-go nuke types don't want to hear about conservation and personal responsibility, but the fact is, our state is barely trying to slow our rates of energy consumption.

The resolution goes on to call for a serious study and a formal report of our real options for energy management:

Our vision is of a clean, healthy, very efficient and competitive state with reliable, low cost electricity made from clean fuels that create and sustain local jobs and businesses. Until such time as this report is submitted, reviewed and policies consistent with GS 62-2(3a) are enacted, the North Carolina Utilities Commission shall withhold from state electric utilities, certificates of convenience and necessity for all nuclear, coal, and natural gas generation plants.

That makes sense to me.


PS Kudos to the progressive grassroots Dems who are shepherding this important work. The original resolution is attached.