Over the past six years solar panels have popped up throughout the state thanks to generous federal and state subsidies.

By John Droz Jr. | News Commentary

RALEIGH – Should Solar Lobbyists Dictate NC Energy Policy? 

When the Green New Deal was first introduced by left-wing extremists, it was soundly (and rightly) criticized as being technically, economically, and environmentally unscientific & nonsensical. Since U.S. House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) was one of the Green New Deal’s main advocates, is that any surprise? Her credentials include zero scientific qualifications, but do show her as having been a bartender. 

Have we really stooped this low so that America’s national energy policy is being directed by such unqualified people? Not to be outdone in the race to the bottom, some NC House Legislators have passed HB951, which is North Carolina’s version of the Green New Deal (and would make AOC proud). 

What’s startling is that the sponsors of this proposed legislation is a cadre of Republicans in the General Assembly. Republicans should be strictly supporting science-based energy policies. Science-based energy policies are those that have proven net societal benefits. 

Such policies are based on three pillars: 1) Technical, 2) Economic and 3) Environmental considerations. None of that is found in the 50 or so pages of a the polemic known as HB951. Instead, we have a bill that is clearly written by lobbyists for the solar industry, lobbyists for Duke Energy, and lobbyists representing other Left-wing organizations. 

Not surprisingly, HB951 has zero net technical, economic, or environmental benefits for NC citizens, NC small businesses, or the military in NC. Right under our nose, the solar industry has arranged for NC to be their lap dog. Consider that: a) NC has given the solar industry well over a BILLION dollars so far. b) NC has zero statewide solar rules and regulations. c) The solar industry has no requirement to prove that their product is providing any net benefits! 

Sweet! Rather than being happy with this utopian arrangement, the solar industry perceives the NC legislature’s extreme benevolence as a sign of weakness and incompetence — and with good reason. As a result they are now asking for MORE! 

That’s why they wrote HB951: a) To get hundreds of millions of dollars of additional handouts b) To reduce the trivial (local) solar facility regulations even further.  c) All this is being done while still not providing one iota of proof that their product is a net societal benefit! This bill needs to be immediately killed before other NC legislation becomes infected. 

HB951 is now headed to the state senate. Call your state senator in the General Assembly today!

Editor’s note: Mr. Droz, a physicist who lives in Morehead City, is a regular contributor to this newspaper.