Rep. Mike Hager sets his sights on NC's REPS requirement:
But Rep. Mike Hager of Rutherford County views the mandate as the government unfairly “picking winners and losers” in the marketplace. As chairman of the Public Utilities committee, Hager would like to freeze it at the current 3 percent level. “Under our scenario, you would never go to 12.5 percent,” he said.
That's kind of like big energy companies unfairly paying to play in NC elections, so they can bring (what's supposed to be) our government under their power. Why would entities like Duke Energy and REAP care what kind of energy they produce, if they're going to charge us for it anyway? Because traditional power plants cost billions to build, making a lot of influential people even richer:
The extra $177.6 million for the power plant, tacked onto a price tag of $2.191 billion, is one of the key issues facing the state Public Service Commission as it weighs how much We Energies can raise electricity rates in January.
Steel and construction prices rose after We Energies locked in its contract with Bechtel, to the point where a similar plant being built in North Carolina will cost one-third more than Oak Creek, chief executive Gale Klappa said during a recent investor presentation.
The PSC had capped the project cost at $2.19 billion but allowed the utility the ability to go over that amount by 5%. The current case involves reviewing all of the extra project costs to determine whether they were prudent.
The overall rate increase sought by the utility would result in bills climbing by 5%, or $138 million, in 2013, and by 3.6%, or $104.1 million, in 2014.
And that's just a coal plant. Nuke plants would cost much more, possibly ten times as much, and the big utilities and construction firms are aching to get back into that wildly extravagant business. Even if it means saddling the public with a crushing debt (see Electricities) for decades.
And as far as this likely disengenuous quip:
Duke Energy North Carolina President Brett Carter, in a recent interview, said Duke is “open to conversations” about Senate Bill 3.
“If the incentives for solar go away, it’s likely because solar has become competitive on its own merit and, therefore, can compete against other energy sources,” he said.
Solar didn't become competitive on its own merit, that success is due in a large part to the demand created by Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards like NC's SB3. Not properly crediting the program smacks of either ignorance or intentional deception. And I'm not sure which one of those things is worse.