NC House Passes Sweeping Energy Bill

NC House Passes Sweeping Energy Bill

4:47pm Jul 15, 2021
The N.C. Legislative Building in Raleigh. PAUL GARBER/WFDD FILE

The state House passed wide-ranging energy legislation during a rare midnight session early Thursday. Republican leaders called the House back in session for a required second vote on the measure after Democrats blocked an earlier attempt.

The bill would expand solar production and retire several Duke Energy coal-fueled power plants. Environmentalists say those facility retirements rely too much on shifting to natural gas for electricity.

The legislation also lets Duke Energy seek multi-year rate increases, rather than year by year, and directs the utility to find a location for a new type of nuclear power plant. 

The measure now heads to the Senate. A spokesman for Gov. Roy Cooper’s office expressed opposition to it, saying it weakens regulators’ ability to block unfair higher electricity rates on consumers and doesn’t do enough to boost clean energy. 

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