Up & Coming Weekly

August 16, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 6 of 24

6 UCW AUGUST 17 - 23, 2022 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Christian music station local your Winter is coming. I know it's hard to fathom amid a hot, humid North Carolina summer, but it is. Across from our beautiful beaches, e Economist predicts "Europe's Winter of Discontent." Disastrous public policies that increase dependence on unreliable energy sources and hostile foreign re- gimes have put the free world, includ- ing all of us here in North Carolina, in a perilous position. e Wall Street Journal warns, "People even in afflu- ent countries are learning they can no longer take reliable electric power for granted." If you live in Texas or Califor- nia, you've seen it firsthand. Not long ago, I worked in the energy policy space in Colorado, ground zero for some of the most absurd public policy surrounding energy. Climate alarmism has been a trendy acces- sory of the wealthy Aspen-Boulder- Telluride après ski circuit for decades. eir money and influence changed the pragmatic political climate from purple to progressive green. In North Carolina, it would be the equivalent of having Asheville and Chapel Hill run the state. e change in Colorado gave rise to Democrats like state Rep. Max Tyler, who successfully championed the doubling and tripling of the state's original 10% renewable energy mandate. Tyler's response to critics: "e sun will always shine for free, the winds will always blow for free, and our energy production will be cleaner. Renewable energy, green jobs, and a cleaner future — what's not to like?" Colorado ditched its 30% mandate a while ago in favor of 100% renewables by 2040. As a result, electric rates have skyrocketed. It's an effective way to keep out the peasants. What Tyler and other renewable zealots don't tell you is that converting those sources to electricity is wildly expensive. In terms of reliability, the cost is even higher. It also puts us in a subservient position to China, which controls roughly 90% of the global market of rare earth elements needed to manufacture solar panels and wind turbines. To answer Max Tyler's ques- tion — "what's not to like?" A lot. Gov. Roy Cooper and the envi- ronmental left want a similar path for North Carolina. ey want zero carbon dioxide emissions from elec- tricity generation, and they want to use industrial wind and utility-scale solar and batteries to meet that goal. Meanwhile, most ratepayers want affordable, reliable, abundant electric- ity to power their homes, businesses, hospitals, schools — their entire way of life. ose objectives aren't compatible. Anyone who tells you they are is lying. In the words of energy analyst Mitch Rolling, "You can't have a clean grid without hydro and nuclear. It's never been done. You can have a clean grid without wind and solar." In its recently released scenarios to achieve zero carbon dioxide emis- sions, Duke Energy is attempting the impossible. e four different sce- narios are heavy on wind, including offshore, along with solar, batteries, and eventually hydrogen. Our latest report from the Center for Food, Power, and Life analyzed each scenario and found the cost will be $140 billion to $160 billion, more than $1,000 per year for residential custom- ers. at's the decision the Cooper- appointed North Carolina Utilities Commission will make soon on behalf of millions of Tar Heel ratepayers. Because Duke is a regulated mo- nopoly utility, North Carolinians will assume all the risk by paying hun- dreds of billions of dollars to build out unproven and unreliable technology. e NCUC sets a rate of return, usually around 9-10%, and Duke is allowed to privatize all the profit. Cooper will be out of office in 2024, long before the pain is fully felt. Consider yourselves warned; winter is coming. We won't be able to keep ourselves warm in January unless we insist to the NCUC and Duke to rely upon nuclear to achieve the General Assembly's policy goal of zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Standing between North Carolin- ians and reliable power from nuclear are organizations like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the mega-churches of leftist environmentalism. ey intentionally conflate clean, reliable nuclear power with nuclear weapons. ey've filed their own plan heavy on unreliable wind and solar. ere is good news. Ratepayers have state law on their side. Last year's H.B. 951 directed Duke to comply with a least-cost principle and maintain or improve upon the existing grid reli- ability when building out the utility's zero-carbon generation plans. Our analysis shows that none of the regu- lated monopoly's four plans maintains the spirit of the law. It's likely the same legislators who passed H.B. 951 will have to get involved again to ensure the NCUC and Duke comply with their wishes so ratepayers can expect reliable power at an affordable price. No one can afford a nasty winter. Can House Bill 951 keep winter from coming to North Carolina? by AMY COOKE AMY COOKE, Publisher of Carolina Journal and CEO, John Locke Foundation. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200. Proponents for the use of renewable energy fail to point out that converting those sources to electric- ity is wildly expensive. (Photo courtesy Duke Energy) OPINION

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