That’s a mighty apt take on the current environment on Jones Street, as supplied from one disgusted insider who confided in me. Judging from yesterday’s events, it appears the Republican majority is in bed with the same radical environmentalists who have spent cycle after cycle spending money against GOP candidates.
House committees — dominated by Republicans — shot down efforts to (1) end the renewable energy mandates and (2) kill the 35 percent tax credit for renewable energy producers. The renewable energy mandates — introduced in 2007 by a bipartisan group that included Thom Tillis — codified that utility providers MUST, each year, purchase X-amount of the energy they sell their customers from renewable energy producers. On the other end of the equation, you have a 35 percent tax credit for producers of renewable energy. So, you have government mandating a demand and forcing taxpayers to subsidize the production needed to meet that demand. (Oh, and don’t forget, all of these “renewable energy” options are much more expensive for the producers — and their end customers — than more traditional energy resources.) By killing the mandates AND the tax credit, you are creating a situation where utility bills for EVERYONE go down. And the GOP majority said NO to that.
Opposition to the efforts to kill both propositions came from a coalition of Republican consultants, Republican legislators, and professional environmentalists which was masterfully exposed in this piece from Susan Myrick at Civitas.
Before I go on, I have to give an ‘Amen’ to the preaching of Jon Sanders over at John Locke about yesterday’s events on Jones Street:
”[…] A campaign of utter nonsense, phony free-market posing, and shameless flat-out begging(which negated the campaign’s economic nonsense and free-market posing, if anyone took the time to think about it) has succeeded wildly.
Those are the tools it takes to carry an issue in today’s North Carolina, just as it was in yesterday’s North Carolina (well, the phony free-market posing is new).
Principled, empirically sound stands for the citizens of North Carolina are no fun and don’t benefit campaign coffers or influential friends. It would just help those piddling poor people who are only useful as props and aren’t Important In Raleigh (other than to confer the title of “Representative” — you know, as being the ones whose interests are supposedly beingrepresented).
Shortly after extending the thirty-five percent renewable energy tax credit for another year, North Carolina legislators today shot down in a House committee an effort to cap the renewable energy portfolio mandate.
I’ve discussed this issue frequently, making that principled, empirical, unfun, stand-for-the-poor case that a policy of least-cost, reliable energy is the state’s best policy — which as you and more importantly they well know stands in opposition to the hogwash-spouting, coffer-lining cronies’ best policy of perpetual public life support.[…]
Apparently, it is now ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS. Doing what’s right for the people of North Carolina and cutting the size and scope of government haven’t just been bumped to the back of the bus — they’re holding onto the bus’s rear bumper for dear life.