Daily dose

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse. Pat McCrory has destroyed the reputation of North Carolina in 100 short days. Imagine what will happen in four long years.

SEQUESTER FESTER DAY 63
Furlough Days: Where do things stand? (Washington Post) -- Which agencies have placed employees on unpaid leave? How many reduced their furlough days?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2013/05/03/furlough-days-where-do-things-stand/

Fort Bragg schools set academic calendar, await furlough decision (Fayetteville Observer) -- Fort Bragg school officials are waiting to hear from the federal government about whether the district will have to furlough employees because of federal budget cuts.
http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2013/05/02/1254388?sac=fo.local

LEGISLATURE
Duke Energy’s Jim Rogers opposes repeal of NC renewable-energy law (Charlotte Business Journal) -- Duke Energy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers on Thursday put himself squarely on the side of the North Carolina's law promoting the use of renewable energy sources, as the law remains under attack in the N.C. General Assembly. “We still support (the renewables law) because it has the economic provision in it,” Rogers said. “Personally I support the renewable energy portfolio standard.” During a 90-minute question-and-answer period at Duke's annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte, Justin Danhof of the conservative National Center for Public Policy Research asked Rogers about a bill in the N.C. legislature that would repeal the state's renewable-energy requirements. Danhof cited a study that contends N.C. customers will pay “more than $2 billion in coming years” for the higher costs imposed by the use of renewables. Rogers defended the N.C. law. He noted the 2007 legislation includes a provision that caps the amount of money a utility can spend on renewables to prevent large increases being passed on to customers. And he noted that 29 states and the District of Columbia have similar laws. He clarified at a press conference that followed. “We still support (the renewables law) because it has the economic provision in it,” Rogers said. “Personally I support the renewable energy portfolio standard.”
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/power_city/2013/05/duke-energys-jim-rogers-opposes.html

Consumer loan changes get initial OK in NC Senate (AP) — North Carolina installment loan companies could charge higher interest rates on most borrowers and new fees in legislation tentatively approved Thursday by the state Senate.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/consumer-loan-changes-get-initial-ok-nc-senate-1970127

Senate passes rate hikes for small loans (WRAL-TV) -- Those who borrow from store-front lenders would pay more under the bill, which underwent several revisions Thursday.
http://www.wral.com/senate-passes-rate-hikes-for-small-loans/12404119/

Treasurer Cowell wants payday lending bills stopped (Raleigh News & Observer) -- State Treasurer Janet Cowell is asking state lawmakers to stop advancing legislation to help the payday lending industry. Cowell, a Democrat, sent a letter to N.C. General Assembly members expressing her opposition to House Bill 875 and Senate Bill 89, especially after working to eliminate the practice seven years ago. "We cannot grow our state economy when citizens are trapped in debt they cannot hope to repay," she wrote in the letter. "We need to keep payday lending out of our state."
http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/treasurer_cowell_wants_payday_lending_bills_stopped

NC House passes new 'right-to-work' bill (AP) — A bill outlawing any contract that makes union hiring a requirement has passed the North Carolina House.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-house-passes-new-right-work-bill-1969821

Environmental rollbacks pass NC Senate (AP) — A bill requiring local governments and state agencies to roll back environmental regulations has passed the North Carolina Senate.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/environmental-rollbacks-pass-nc-senate-1969715

NC House tentatively passes pre-K cuts (AP) — A bill to slash the number of children eligible for North Carolina's pre-K program is one step closer to passage.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-house-tentatively-passes-pre-k-restrictions-1969805

State House leaders off to ALEC (WRAL-TV) -- As House lawmakers debated eligibility cuts to pre-kindergarten, three key members were at an ALEC meeting in Oklahoma –their registration paid for by the state’s taxpayers.
http://www.wral.com/state-house-leaders-off-to-alec/12405212/

House OKs bill allowing fewer runoff voting sites (AP) — Lots of North Carolina legislators believe counties should be able to scale back voting locations during runoff elections to save money and administrative headaches.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/house-oks-bill-allowing-fewer-runoff-voting-sites-1970129

House approves two elections changes (WRAL-TV) -- State House lawmakers have approved two changes they say will help clean up voter rolls and save money on runoff elections.
http://www.wral.com/house-approves-elections-changes/12404731/

Senate agrees to tax hike on boat owners to pay dredging costs (AP) — Boat owners across North Carolina would face higher fees to pay for coastal dredging projects thanks to legislation that received a preliminary OK from the state Senate.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/senate-agrees-hike-boat-fees-dredging-costs-1970045

Senate approves higher boat taxes for dredging (WRAL-TV) -- The state Senate has given tentative approval to raise boat registration and title taxes to pay for coastal dredging.
http://www.wral.com/senate-approves-higher-boat-fees-for-dredging/12403961/

Turnpike projects added to McCrory's road overhaul (AP) — Some North Carolina lawmakers say the governor's transportation overhaul will be a tougher sell after a House committee added several turnpike projects to the bill Thursday.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/turnpike-projects-added-mccrorys-road-overhaul-1969717

House panel gives new life to Garden Parkway (Charlotte Observer) -- Supporters of the proposed Garden Parkway won a surprise legislative victory Thursday, though one opponent vowed that “the fight is far from over.”
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/02/4017089/house-panel-gives-new-life-to.html

Bill would now repeal disputed bail bonds requirement (WRAL-TV) -- A state court has struck down a state law that gave a monopoly on continuing education for bail bondsmen to one nonprofit. An amendment given tentative approval in the House Thursday repeals that measure.
http://www.wral.com/bill-would-now-repeal-disputed-bail-bonds-requirement/12404834/

Martin sends sweepstakes donation to charities (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- A local state representative has given two charities a campaign donation made by a sweepstakes operator facing criminal charges in Florida.
http://www.reflector.com/news/martin-sends-sweepstakes-donation-charities-1970233

POLICY & POLITICS
Is fracking giant Halliburton getting veto power over NC’s chemical disclosure rule? (Raleigh News & Observer) -- After more than six months of meetings, the N.C. Mining & Energy Commission was set to approve its first rule that would require fracking operations to disclose which chemicals they pump underground. But Commissioners learned Thursday that the proposal they approved is on ice because fracking giant objects.
http://newsobserver.com/2013/05/02/2866836/fracking-giant-halliburton-nixes.html

Hagan, Landrieu gun votes could help in 2014 (Public Policy Polling) – North Carolina’s Kay Hagan and Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu helped their cause for reelection with their recent votes in support of background checks for gun sales. More than 70% of voters in each of their states support such checks, and their constituents say they're more likely to vote for them next year because of their votes. In North Carolina, 73% of voters support background checks with only 22% opposed. There is a strong consensus across party lines with more than 60% of Democrats (86/11), independents (67/28), and Republicans (61/34) all supporting them. 52% of voters say they're more inclined to reelect Hagan next year because she voted for background checks, while only 26% of voters say they will be less likely to support her because of it. In Louisiana 72% of voters say they favor background checks to only 20% who are opposed. There is strong bipartisan backing with Democrats (81/13), independents (73/20), and Republicans (61/29) all expressing at least 2:1 support. 45% of voters in the state say they're now more likely to support Landrieu for reelection because she voted for background checks, compared to only 25% who say they're now less likely to vote for her. Landrieu has also seen a 6 point improvement in her net approval rating from the last time we polled the state in February, from +2 then at 47/45 to now +8 at 49/41. Hagan and Landrieu are both faring a lot better on this issue than their Republican colleagues in these states. 50% of North Carolinians say they're less likely to vote for Richard Burr in the future because of his opposition to background checks, compared to only 26% who consider his vote to be a positive. And in Louisiana 41% of voters say they're less likely to vote for David Vitter in the future based on his vote on this bill, compared to just 25% more likely to.
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2013/05/hagan-landrieu-gun-voters-could-help-in-2014.html

Poll: Gun vote boosts Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu (Politico) -- A new poll found that Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana got a boost for their support of a failed bipartisan bill that its creators said would improve background checks. For Hagan, 52 percent of voters said they’re more likely to reelect Hagan next year because she voted in favor of the bill, according to a new poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released Thursday. Twenty-six percent said they’re less likely to support her because of it and the remainder were undecided or didn’t answer.
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/gun-control-vote-poll-mary-landrieu-kay-hagan-90867.html
· (Charlotte Observer) -- http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/02/4017545/poll-gun-control-stance-helps.html
· (Huffington Post) -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/mary-landrieu-kay-hagan-gun-vote_n_3202844.html
· (Salon) -- http://www.salon.com/2013/05/02/poll_background_checks_vote_could_improve_dems_2014_chances/singleton/
· (Talk Radio News Service) -- http://www.talkradionews.com/congress/2013/05/02/poll-gun-vote-gives-landrieu-and-hagan-a-boost.html
· (Daily Beast) -- http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/02/yes-gun-control-vote-pays-off-for-two-senators-poll...
· (Talking Points Memo) -- http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/05/poll-guns-landrieu-hagan.php
· (The Hill) -- http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/297415-poll-gun-control-vote-boosts-hagan-landrieu

North Carolinians To Demand Answers From Sen. Burr (Wall Street Journal) -- North Carolina gun violence survivors and family members will gather on Friday in Durham to demand answers from Senator Richard Burr about why he voted against the 90 percent of North Carolina voters who support background checks for gun sales. Parents, families, friends and individuals who have been affected by gun violence have sent letters and emails asking for a face-to-face meeting and an explanation on Burr's vote against commonsense background checks. All of their meeting requests have been denied. The bipartisan legislation Burr voted against, sponsored by Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey, would have closed the loopholes that make it easy for dangerous people to get guns.
http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130502-916052.html

Burr Declines Dinner Invite From Families Of Victims Of Gun Violence (Huffington Post) -- Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) has turned down a dinner invitation from a group of gun victims' families, citing a busy schedule this week. Burr recently voted against Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey's (R-Pa.) amendment to strengthen and expand background checks for gun sales. Last week, Fran Lynch of North Carolina's Religious Coalition for a Non-Violent Durham sent a letter to Burr, asking that he join her and her friends for a discussion on gun control.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/richard-burr-gun-dinner_n_3203401.html

70% of N.C. residents want redistricting reform, poll shows (Triangle Business Journal) -- A recent poll shows that 70 percent of North Carolinians want to reform the redistricting process. That’s according to the N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform, which released its poll results and analyzed redistricting over the years. What the group turned up probably comes as little surprise to anyone in the state: Those in power like to draw district lines that favor their party.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/2013/05/70-of-nc-residents-want.html

States try to tackle 'secret money' in politics (LA Times) – With campaign donations up and a lack of federal action, a joint effort aims to lift the shadows on tax-exempt political advocacy groups and trade associations.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-secret-money-20130503,0,3137805.story

NC Medicaid shortfall now $248M this year (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory's administration revealed Thursday it expects this year's Medicaid shortfall to be more than double what was previously estimated. A legislative budget-writer said tax collections should help fill the immediate gap but the disclosure accentuates long-term challenges for the health insurance program. The Department of Health and Human Services and state budget office announced the shortfall through June 30 is now estimated at $248 million, or $135 million more than what the agencies said was previously expected.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-medicaid-shortfall-now-248m-year-1969703

McCrory rep says federal Medicaid reimbursement was overestimated (Triangle Business Journal) -- North Carolina’s Medicaid shortfall for fiscal 2013 will hit $248 million, about $135 more than previously estimated, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration says. The gap is being pinned on a forecasting error made before the new administration took office in January. An error in the prior forecasting model overestimated the amount of federal money the state would receive for the health program. In March, DHHS brought in the accounting firm Ernst & Young to develop new forecasting techniques.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/2013/05/mccrory-rep-says-federal-medicaid.html

Medicaid shortfall larger than expected (WRAL-TV) -- Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services blame the Perdue administration for a $135 million "forecasting error."
http://www.wral.com/medicaid-shortfall-larger-than-expected/12403580/

In several states, Medicaid expansion remains in limbo as time runs short (Washington Post) -- Lawmakers in more than a dozen states are struggling with whether to expand it under the health-care law.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/in-several-states-medicaid-expansion-remains-i...

GOP Clashes Stymie Medicaid Expansion (Wall Street Journal) -- Several Republican governors who defied their conservative bases to support Medicaid expansion under the federal health-care law are running into a brick wall: their states' GOP-led legislatures.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324582004578458923980775916.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

"We're Number Umpteenth!": The myth of lagging U.S. schools (Washington Post) -- The premise that American students lag behind counterparts in other countries is so widely accepted that it's casually repeated by just about everyone -- including educators. Here's why it's wrong.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/03/were-number-umpteenth-the-myth-of-lag...

State Board of Education sets standards for college and career diplomas (Raleigh News & Observer) -- High school graduates will have seals on their diplomas in a few years showing whether they are ready for work or college under new criteria the State Board of Education adopted Thursday. The new standards follow a state law and Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign promise
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/02/2866581/state-board-of-education-sets.html

McCrory prays with Greenville (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Gov. Pat McCrory joined more than 400 people at the steps of the Pitt County Courthouse to pray for the state, the nation and its people during Thursday’s National Day of Prayer. More than a dozen people from across Pitt County led the group in prayers supporting local and national leaders, prayers seeking hope for the downtrodden, and prayers asking for love and protection of their friends, families and community.
http://www.reflector.com/news/mccrory-prays-greenville-1970247

Case against state medical examiners can move forward, commission says (Carolina Public Press) -- The North Carolina Industrial Commission ruled Wednesday that an unprecedented lawsuit against the state for misidentifying dead bodies can proceed.
http://www.carolinapublicpress.org/15138/case-against-state-medical-examiners-can-move-forward-commi...

State Environmental Officials Seek Public Feedback on Customer Service (N.C. Political News) -- The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is reaching out to customers again to learn about their experiences with the agency and ways the agency can improve future interactions through an online public survey. “We hope to show our customers we are serious about improving customer service,” said DENR Ombudsman Joe Harwood. “This is not a one-time thing, but an on-going effort to give our customers the best possible service so they can get back to business quickly.”
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=1543

UNC-Chapel Hill to compensate Folt $520K, benefits (AP) — The incoming chancellor of the country's oldest public university will enjoy several benefits beyond her $520,000 annual salary when she moves from the Ivy League to North Carolina this summer.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/unc-chapel-hill-compensate-folt-520k-benefits-1969997

Hagan Co-sponsors Bill to Help North Carolina Forestry, Timber and Paper Industries (N.C. Political News) – U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today announced that she is cosponsoring the bipartisan Forest Products Fairness Act. The bill, sponsored by Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), would open new opportunities for forestry producers by allowing their products to qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) BioPreferred Program.
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=1553

McCrory Announces Judicial Appointment (N.C. Political News) – Republican Gov. Pat McCrory announced the following direct appointment today: Special Superior Court Judge Appoint Ebern “Trip” Watson III – Watson serves as Assistant District Attorney for the 13th Prosecutorial District. He began his law practice career as a solo practitioner representing rural clients, later becoming Assistant District Attorney for the 4th Prosecutorial District. Watson graduated from Vermont Law School
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=1547

Loan program change leads to enrollment drops at historically black colleges (McClatchy Newspapers) -- A change in federal education loan policies has left many students at some of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities struggling...
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/05/02/190246/loan-program-change-leads-to-enrollment.html#emlnl=Dail...

As questions are raised, Cowell backs pension investment flexibility (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A Senate committee approved legislation Thursday to further loosening investing rules for the state pension fund at the request of Treasurer Janet Cowell, just as the fund's former investment head has been writing some stinging criticism about states that have ramped up their alternatives investments, Scott Mooneyham at the Insider reports.
http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/as_questions_are_raised_cowell_backs_pension_investm...

Secretary Shanahan Appoints James “J.R.” Gorham as Commissioner of Juvenile Justice (N.C. Political News) -- N.C. Secretary of Public Safety Kieran Shanahan has named James “J.R.” Gorham as Commissioner of Juvenile Justice, effective immediately. Gorham retired last September as brigadier general and assistant adjutant general for domestic operations with the North Carolina National Guard, capping a 38-year military career that included three years of active duty service in the U.S. Army.
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=1551

Decker visit postponed until June (Laurinburg Exchange) -- Scheduled for today, North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker’s visit to Laurinburg has been postponed due to illness. Decker is “a little under the weather, but we absolutely expect to have her here, probably in June,” said Tonia Stephenson, president of the Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce. Stephenson said that Decker’s staff made it clear to her that thesecretary “definitely wants to come to Scotland County.”
http://www.laurinburgexchange.com/view/full_story/22448524/article-Decker-visit-postponed-until-June...

NC Secretary of Commerce to speak at YMCA Prayer Breakfast (Gaston Gazette) -- Sharon Decker, N.C. Secretary of Commerce, is the keynote speaker for the 18th annual YMCA Community Prayer Breakfast on Thursday (May 9) at the LeGrand Center on the campus of Cleveland Community College. Tickets are $13 per person or $100 for a table of 8 and available at any YMCA branch.
http://www.gastongazette.com/lifestyles/faith/nc-secretary-of-commerce-to-speak-at-ymca-prayer-break...

Tax reform debate next at Hunt library (Raleigh News & Observer) -- There will be a forum next week on the future of tax reform in North Carolina, featuring two DC-based economists. The debate will feature Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities and a former economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and Elizabeth Malm, an economist with the Center for State Tax Policy at the Tax Foundation. The debate will be moderated by Kelly McCullen, an anchor/reporter with UNC/TV. The forum will be held at the Emerging Issues Common of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at NC. State University on Tuesday at 11:45.
http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/tax_reform_debate_next_at_hunt_library

Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry routes will expand (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- The Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry service beginning Tuesday will expand the number of trips using a longer route as dredges continue to try to clear the shorter, original route, which has been closed since February.
http://hamptonroads.com/2013/05/hatterasocracoke-ferry-routes-will-expand

Amtrak Subsidy Gone, States Must Pay the Freight to Keep Rail Routes (New York Times) -- Under pressure to reduce its dependence on federal subsidies, Amtrak is looking at either closing 28 short-haul routes or getting 19 states to share the costs.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/us/as-amtrak-aid-ends-states-face-decision-on-local-routes.html?re...

Turnpike Authority discusses toll billing issues (News14-TV) -- Since it opened last year the Traingle Expressway has seen a steady increase in drivers but not everything about the newest price of interstate has been easy on commuters.

State lawmakers look to put cameras on school buses (News14-TV) -- State Lawmakers are looking for ways to keep children safe when getting on or off a school bus. A legislative committee watched a presentation of on bus cameras, which are currently used by a couple dozen local school districts. The cameras cost about $3,500 per bus, but lawmakers say drivers disobeying driving laws is still a rampant problem.
http://triangle.news14.com/content/top_stories/693651/state-lawmakers-look-to-put-cameras-on-school-...

GENERAL NEWS
Johnston teen who left guns in truck gets scholarship offers (WRAL-TV) -- A Princeton High School senior who says he inadvertently brought two unloaded shotguns has received scholarship offers from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and Harding University in Searcy, Ark. Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said he believes Cole Withrow is the victim of an "overly sensitive" judicial system.
http://www.wral.com/classmates-rally-around-princeton-student-expelled-for-gun-in-car/12404125/

Public tips can curb Halifax dog fight problem (WRAL-TV) -- Dog fighting, while illegal, is common in Halifax County. "The dog fighting in this county has risen greatly in the last two to three years," said Robert Richardson, the lead officer with animal control for the county. He says one reason for that growth is the tight-knit, well-established dog fighting network in the county. A recent bust netted a married couple and their 19-year-old son.
http://www.wral.com/public-tips-can-curb-halifax-dog-fight-problem/12405623/

BB&T plans corporate restructuring (Wilson Times) -- BB&T confirmed Thursday a corporate restructuring that will lead to the consolidation and elimination of some positions within the corporation.
http://www.wilsontimes.com/News/Local/Story/20500609---BB-T-plans-corporate-restructuring

Facebook wants N.C. lawsuit tossed out (Triangle Business Journal) -- Facebook and its bank IPO underwriters have asked a federal judge to toss out the class action damage suit filed by the North Carolina Pension system and other investors. The North Carolina system became lead plaintiff in the case last year, claiming it had lost $4.1 million on the Facebook IPO after the social media company issued misleading revenue forecasts prior to the stock sale.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2013/05/02/facebook-wants-nc-lawsuit-tossed-out.html

Hurting financially, Wake Forest Baptist adds cost-cutting measures (Triad Business Journal) -- Revenue declines along with the disruptive and costly implementation of a new electronic medical records system have forced Wake Forest
http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2013/05/02/wake-forest-baptist-adds-cost-cutting.html

Living on the Edge: DSS Promotes Food Stamp Challenge (Southern Pines Pilot) -- To gain a better understanding of the challenges food stamp recipients face, DSS officials are inviting Moore County residents to live on a comparable budget of $6.67 per day for two consecutive days of their choosing.
http://www.thepilot.com/news/2013/may/02/living-on-the-edge-dss-promotes-food-stamp/

Suicide Rates Rise Sharply in U.S. (New York Times) -- The suicide rate among middle-age Americans rose 30 percent from 1999 to 2010, with more people now dying of suicide than in car accidents.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/health/suicide-rate-rises-sharply-in-us.html?ref=us

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
Duke Energy’s Jim Rogers opposes repeal of NC renewable-energy law (Charlotte Business Journal) -- Duke Energy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers on Thursday put himself squarely on the side of the North Carolina's law promoting the use of renewable energy sources, as the law remains under attack in the N.C. General Assembly. “We still support (the renewables law) because it has the economic provision in it,” Rogers said. “Personally I support the renewable energy portfolio standard.” During a 90-minute question-and-answer period at Duke's annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte, Justin Danhof of the conservative National Center for Public Policy Research asked Rogers about a bill in the N.C. legislature that would repeal the state's renewable-energy requirements. Danhof cited a study that contends N.C. customers will pay “more than $2 billion in coming years” for the higher costs imposed by the use of renewables. Rogers defended the N.C. law. He noted the 2007 legislation includes a provision that caps the amount of money a utility can spend on renewables to prevent large increases being passed on to customers. And he noted that 29 states and the District of Columbia have similar laws. He clarified at a press conference that followed. “We still support (the renewables law) because it has the economic provision in it,” Rogers said. “Personally I support the renewable energy portfolio standard.”
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/power_city/2013/05/duke-energys-jim-rogers-opposes.html

Wind project permit extended (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) -- Local officials are encouraged by the state Utility Commission’s decision this week to extend the permit for a 20,000-acre wind farm in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties.
http://www.dailyadvance.com/news/wind-project-permit-extended-1970067

Certificate renewed for NC wind turbine farm (AP) — The North Carolina Utilities Commission has renewed a certificate to construct a 20,000-acre wind turbine farm in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/certificate-renewed-nc-wind-turbine-farm-1969705

Climate, rates dominate Duke Energy meeting (Charlotte Observer) -- In his last Duke Energy shareholder’s meeting, outgoing CEO Jim Rogers defended the company’s green credentials and predicted an “agile and innovative” future.
http://newsobserver.com/2013/05/02/2866402/climate-rates-dominate-duke-meeting.html

Duke Energy’s Jim Rogers: CEO succession is in the works (Charlotte Business Journal) --Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers talked about his pending departure and the search for his replacement at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/power_city/2013/05/duke-energys-rogers-ceo-succession.html

Duke Energy suspends new nuke plans at Harris (Triangle Business Journal) -- Duke Energy is suspending its plans to build two new nuclear units at its Shearon Harris plant at New Hill,
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2013/05/02/duke-energy-suspends-new-nuke-plans-at.html

Duke Energy shelves plans for new reactors at Shearon Harris (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The Charlotte utility told nuclear regulators that it wanted to suspend its applications for the units at its Wake County plant because of slowing growth.
http://newsobserver.com/2013/05/02/2866287/duke-energy-shelves-plans-for.html

State Environmental Officials Seek Public Feedback on Customer Service (N.C. Political News) -- The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is reaching out to customers again to learn about their experiences with the agency and ways the agency can improve future interactions through an online public survey. “We hope to show our customers we are serious about improving customer service,” said DENR Ombudsman Joe Harwood. “This is not a one-time thing, but an on-going effort to give our customers the best possible service so they can get back to business quickly.”
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=1543

Clean technology investors shift focus to drilling (AP) -- A decade ago, large investors in so-called clean technology had a straightforward goal: finance companies that would help eliminate the world's dependence on oil, natural gas and coal.
http://www.wral.com/clean-technology-investors-shift-focus-to-drilling/12395623/

Our Coast:: Look for Revamped Magazine Soon (Coastal Review) -- Ours is a breathtaking, water-loving land, and the glories one finds in these wild redoubts are many. The federation's new travel guide beckons you to ramble afoot, afloat, afield to coastal spots both accessible and off the trodden track.
http://nccoast.org/Article.aspx?k=c1285b90-eca5-4d39-8ad2-6813452a9efa

Cleantech investor SJF Ventures closes $90M fund (WRAL-TV) -- Investor interest in cleantech investing firm SJF Ventures' third fund far outstripped expectations. See just how much the fund beat its fundraising target.
http://wraltechwire.com/cleantech-investor-sjf-ventures-closes-90m-fund/12404839/

Green companies see value in social media (Triad Business Journal) -- There are a lot of companies in the Triad with environmental messages to share, either about their practices or their products.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/blog/socialmadness/2013/05/green-companies-see-value-in-social.html

EDITORIALS
Guns in Restaurants? Guns on Campus? (Southern Pines Pilot) -- About those Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly who want a new law making it OK for concealed-carry permit holders to take their guns into restaurants where liquor is sold: They want to go back to the Wild West, right?
http://www.thepilot.com/news/2013/may/01/guns-in-eateries-guns-on-campus/

Protecting consumers from predatory loans-NOT! (Wilson Times) North Carolina senators seem poised to let the installment-loan business profit further — most likely at the expense of lower income people.
http://www.wilsontimes.com/Opinion/Editorials/Story/20501519---Protecting-consumers-from-predatory-l...

NC. won’t find any school miracles to copy in Florida (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- North Carolina parents are right to worry about SB 337/State Charter School Review Board, which bypasses the authority of elected school boards to give political appointees the power to grow and fund charter schools. Equally concerning is SB 361 that implements Florida’s A-F school grading system.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/02/2866233/nc-wont-find-any-school-miracles.html

N.C. legislative soap opera continues (Charlotte Observer column) -- I know there are more important things going on in the world. Syria’s Bashar al-Assad is apparently killing his people with chemical weapons. The FBI is grilling three other suspects in the senseless Boston Marathon bombing. Bangladesh is still recovering from the toppling of an illegally constructed garment building where a mind-boggling 410 people (at least) died and thousands more were injured.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/02/4018483/the-nc-legislative-soap-opera.html

Game-fish bill is bad legislation (Washington Daily News) -- State Rep. Michael Speciale, a Republican from Craven County, is right. House Bill 983 is bad legislation.
http://www.wdnweb.com/2013/05/02/game-fish-bill-is-bad-legislation/

New DMV hours are a step toward government for the people (Wilmington Star-News) -- Did we read that right? Driver’s license offices will be open on Saturday mornings?
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130502/ARTICLES/130509897/1108?Title=Editorial-New-DMV-hours...

A taxing chore (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Legislators are reviewing North Carolina’s tax code in the name of making it simpler. Indeed, tax laws now include all sorts of breaks, some of them good ones helping nonprofits, others brought about by special interests’ connections to legislators. Cleaning things up is fine, as long as the end
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/02/2866895/a-taxing-chore.html

Strach moves up (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Democratic Party leaders are likely unhappy that Kim Strach is becoming the new director of the State Board of Elections, which has changed to Republican control (a 3-2 majority, with all members appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory). But Strach is a qualified and experienced person. She’s rubbed Democrats the wrong way because she conducted investigations on former House Speaker Jim Black (who went to prison on corruption charges), former Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps (also prison), a Democratic House member and two Democratic governors, Beverly Perdue and Mike Easley.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/02/2866892/strach-moves-up.html

Highway plan needs new funding too (Fayetteville Observer) -- The governor and his transportation secretary say they know how to get way more economic bang for our transportation buck. We hope they're right.
http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2013/05/03/1254404?sac=fo.opinion

Comments

Rogers' position on REPS is good news

I am glad that Jim Rogers has finally said something publicly on Mike Hager's ill-conceived attempt to repeal our Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards. Hopefully this will sway some Republicans to finally kill this step backwards.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Rogers

Will be interesting to see how much sway he has in today's corporations-call-the-shots environment.

I agree....

...but I think, all things considered, his opposition to Hager's bill is better than either silence or support....

BTW, I work for the implementation contractor for the Progress Energy rebate program for commercial customers, so I have a very direct interest in this particular bill!!!

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

That's correct

I've found Rogers to be mercurial when it comes to these sorts of issues. Perhaps now that he's achieved more than he ever imagined possible in terms of wealth and power, he's starting to think "legacy."

ALEC...

...is pushing this more than Duke ever did. Hager is like a dog who'll jump in the back of anyone's truck - as long as he gets to ride.

Duke and Progress

In 2007, Duke and Progress supported Senate Bill 3...and given the cost recovery mechanisms (DSM/EE rider, etc.) it's really no skin off their backs.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR