Despite immense pressure from advocates and ratepayers across the state, Governor Roy Cooper signed HB 951, Duke Energy’s handwritten legislation, into law.
HB 951 sets a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 70% by 2030, but lacks the teeth to make sure we get there. Additionally, it drastically raises rates on families and small businesses, something we just can’t afford.
HB 951 is ambitious and well intentioned, but just falls short. For ratepayers who are already struggling with unaffordable bills, the situation will only get worse. It does nothing to give communities more power or more control over their energy systems. It is another example of the continuation of the status quo. Combined with the passage of the Farm Act earlier this year, HB 951 is more of the same, disregard for vulnerable North Carolinians.
Over the next several years advocates and interveners will have the opportunity to argue in front of the North Carolina Utilities Commission over the carbon reduction plan and its implementation. Given the shortcomings of HB 951, that work becomes evermore important to protect the wellbeing of our most vulnerable communities. Our planet and our people need it.
Our fight for energy democracy did not begin at the legislature, nor does it stop there. It begins and ends with the communities impacted by it.