A bill narrowly approved by a North Carolina legislative committee would repeal renewable energy requirements established in 2007.
The state became a regional leader when it passed legislation requiring electric utilities to generate 12.5 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2021, according to a post at Climate Progress and now ranks fifth in the nation in solar energy development. North Carolina has 1,100 clean-energy companies collectively generating $3.7 billion in revenues a year.
The renewable energy requirement also has helped create more than 21,000 jobs, while lowering residential power bills, the report said. But the program has been a target of conservative critics.
The repeal measure, HB298, won committee approval on a 11-10 vote April 3. Its sponsor, state Rep. Mike Hager, a Republican, said its goal is to stop underwriting private industry with government funds. Despite the committee vote, no quick resolution is in sight.