Clean energy is a win for everyone


To the editor:

In his Aug. 14 column, John Hood stated, “Duke Energy can’t win.” It is my opinion that we can all win if we continue to be innovative on energy, while striving for answers to problems we face as a nation.

As we continue to address the energy needs of our country, clearly we must consider many factors such as cost of production, economic impact, availability of resources, and environmental concerns.

As we consider what policies conservatives support, some key facts stand on their own to show how a clean-energy economy helps all North Carolinians.

Conservatives like job growth. More than 43,000 North Carolinians are employed by the clean energy industry.

Conservatives like economic investment. Last year the clean energy industry brought in more than $14 billion in investment dollars for the Tar Heel state.

Conservatives also like innovation, something that has been robust in the clean-energy world.

Furthermore, conservatives like free markets. As a fundamental principle, we support greater market competition, which means more choices and lower bills for consumers.

As it stands, the state’s monopoly utility system has resulted in ever-rising power bills with prices made even worse with extra costs Duke is tacking on for cleaning up coal ash spills and paying fines – things for which customers shouldn’t be on the hook.

Duke’s insistence that natural gas is the silver bullet for all our energy woes doesn’t line up with what conservatives like, either. We can all recall when recent natural gas price volatility sent a shock wave that reverberated all the way to our wallets.

The days of talking about what renewable energy would cost us are over. It’s time to focus on the billions of dollars of economic investment, the tens of thousands of jobs, and the cleaner, more affordable power we would all be enjoying. That’s what conservatives like.

Laurie Barnhardt


Editor’s note: The writer is the executive director of North Carolina Conservatives for Clean Energy.

Stigall cared about people’s problems


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