McCrory said exploration is part of a two-pronged approach to make the energy industry a sector that will help North Carolina come roaring out of the recession. The other, he said, is promoting power generation. Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp. is the nation's largest electric power company. McCrory, who previously worked for Duke, said the state needs to look at tax policies that promote power generation.
The governor on Wednesday praised a law passed in 2013 laying out the regulatory framework for building wind farms to create energy. McCrory also said he wants to examine next year the balance between what he called subsidies received to produce renewable energy and the rates charged to consumers.
And when you do, what you'll see is the cost of renewable energy is a tiny fraction of what ratepayers are forced to pay your former(?) employer, compared to CWIP (Construction Work In Progress) and the recent merger fiasco. And when Duke Energy is finally forced to clean up coal ash ponds, they're going to (try to) charge us for that mistake, as well. But with Art Pope pulling your strings, I'm sure none of that will come up.
State Sen. Pete Brunstetter is leaving office next month, to accept a position as executive vice president and chief legal officer with Novant Health, which has hospitals in North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina. The departure of the Winston-Salem Republican leaves the legislature without one of its most knowledgeable budget writers.
Brunstetter, 57, said it was a “terrific opportunity” to join what he called “an innovative and cutting-edge health-care company.”
You should know, since you were the Chairman of Novant and a Trustee before you took a sabbatical to tweak laws in their favor:
The law allows private waterworks to adjust rates several times a year through a streamlined review to pay for water and sewer upgrades. It governs all private water utilities in North Carolina, potentially affecting more than 170,000 customers statewide.
Aqua, which provides water and sewer service to more than 400 subdivisions in Wake County, already charges about twice as much as Raleigh, Durham, Cary and other municipal water agencies. The company is in the process of seeking a 19 percent rate hike, its third increase in North Carolina in the past five years.
Which should be used as a case study against the Republican "private sector more efficient than public sector" meme. It also demonstrates the GOP is not remotely interested in serving the public, and since they're riddled with conflicts of interest, we can't expect the NCUC to help:
I want a C-suite executive, someone who knows how to manage an operation, particularly someone who has done a startup or turnaround. Because a startup is what it is. Secondly, someone who’s passionate about North Carolina.
I’ve looked at some candidates from outside of the state, but in this initial assignment, it needs to be someone who understands the culture and some of the change we’re going through. I also want someone who has not been engaged in the political process.
Bolding mine, but it may not be as bold a statement as it seems. Here's a question that should tickle your conspiracy theorist bone if you have one: if we're not allowed to know the identity of the donors to McCrory's Renew North Carolina Foundation shadow businessmen association, which has been running hundreds of thousands in television commercials supporting the Governor, how are we to know if Decker's eventual choice for CEO isn't one of these men? The answer: we won't. More promises:
But many of those who will attend bought a year-long membership in the foundation – at a cost between $25,000 and $50,000, depending on the level or perks offered. The nonprofit is not required to disclose its donors and has refused requests to do so. Organizers said “several dozen” people are expected to attend but would not provide additional details.
Among those expected to attend, according to organizers: State Budget Director Art Pope, economic adviser Tony Almeida, Department of Revenue Chief Operating Officer Jeff Epstein and Assistant Secretary of Employment Security Dale Folwell.
The fact that these donors get access while remaining anonymous is a blatant attempt to dodge North Carolina's lobbying laws, and should be investigated vigorously, and not just by media outlets. Either the Ethics Commission or the State Auditor, if not the Department of Justice itself. The longer this group operates in the shadows, the more our government is suborned in ways we cannot fathom.
A new national report says a proposed privatization of economic development in North Carolina may create scandals instead of jobs.
In Indiana, which North Carolina is using as a model, a state audit found more that 40 percent of the jobs promised by companies recruited to the state never materialized. The Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s representative in China has been accused of soliciting bribes from companies, the report states.
There's nothing wrong with bribery. Bribery is just the free market sorting itself out.
Is there a fire under that smoke? It’s too soon to say. Drawing rash conclusions — that the department is dysfunctional and Wos should go — isn’t helpful. DHHS is the most complex agency in state government. It administers a massive program that operates under federal rules and deals with a medical economy where costs always go up and opportunities for waste and fraud seem boundless. Past audits showed that North Carolina’s Medicaid program incurred higher administrative costs than most other states’.
Bolding mine. If I didn't know better, I'd be forced to conclude from this paragraph that the N&R editorial staff is blaming the structure of DHHS for Aldona Wos' wasteful and fraud-like behavior. It's not her fault, it's the environment she's in. I know for a fact this view is not held by the majority of N&R's editorial staff, but whoever penned this is hiding under your banner. Boss or not, that's wrong.
Incorporation papers for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina were filed early this month. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker is interviewing candidates to manage the agency, which will work under her direction.
The public-private partnership will be free to raise funds from the private sector and from other nonprofits. It will likely take over state marketing efforts, including tourism promotion.
Tourism promotion seems like a great way to piss away millions in taxpayer dollars, and I'll believe this "raise funds from the private sector" thing when I see it. Why would a private corporation give money to an entity that might use it as an incentive to bring in a competitor? Here's their Corporation filing page, which so far only contains the names of a couple of lawyers that handled the filing paperwork. Bookmark it, because the Board of Directors will soon be listed there also.
Steckel is leaving her $210,000 state position to be senior director of public policy at WellCare Health Plans, which provides managed care plans for Medicaid and Medicare.
The state Department of Health and Human Services is working on a plan to transform Medicaid that will open the $13 billion government health insurance program for the poor, elderly and disabled to management by private companies. They call the plan the “Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina,” and Steckel had the lead role in creating it.
This story could be a an entire chapter in Business Ethics 101, a model of what not to do. But it probably won't be mentioned in any Legislative oversight hearings, because the NC GOP thinks private companies should be running the government anyway.
If Pat McCrory doesn’t want to start being known statewide as Gov. McCrony, he had better start paying closer attention to some of the disgraceful, politically tainted hirings being made by at least one of his appointees.
Especially deserving to be called on the carpet — if not fired outright — is Aldona Wos, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services. She is clearly betraying the public trust by using her position as a kind of the spoils center from which to dole out lucrative jobs to unqualified buddies.
I'm pretty sure that's Posmo's little word-baby that's all growed up and finding success in the...economically unsuccessful world of newspapers. Well, that turned out to be more depressing than it should have been. But in the spirit of hurricane parties worldwide, we'll still celebrate! Yay! :)
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