The Big Green Machine has Big Problems

March 19, 2021

It’s no secret the Big Green Machine – led by radical environmentalists and lefties in the renewable energy movement – put big money into efforts to take out the reform majorities in the legislature. A big whiff.

They’ve ignored the legislature’s commendable track record on environmental and energy issues, including passage of the nation’s toughest coal ash cleanup law, expanding the use of renewable energy in North Carolina, and funding the cleanup of GenX pollution in the Cape Fear River. A big mistake.

And on perhaps the single biggest energy issue facing our state and legislature – how to handle the transition away from coal to cleaner power – the Green Machine would have us believe covering our state’s dwindling farmland with windmills and solar panels that pad the pockets of a few wealthy investors who bankroll the Green Machine’s campaign attacks is the only politically plausible path forward for North Carolina.  Guess they forgot about this series of absolutely devastating campaignTV ads. Again, a big miss.

Our survey included some surprising findings of North Carolinians’ opinions on energy.  It’s true that a majority of North Carolinian voters want to phase out coal-powered energy. They understand the Biden administration carbon tax scheme is designed to make coal too expensive to burn in power plants. And, interestingly, the public is willing to pay a little more – between eight and ten dollars per month – on their power bills to facilitate the closure of North Carolina’s remaining coal power plants.

But, and this is a big BUT, customers want absolutely nothing to do with the Green Machine and their Silicon Valley-based Big Tech allies’ biggest legislative goal of replacing North Carolina’s traditional, vertically integrated public utility model with a Texas or California-type RTO system.

Maybe it’s the growing distrust of Big Tech corporations, or perhaps it was the Wall Street Journal report on the extra $28 Billion Texas businesses and families paid when their public utility system was replaced with an RTO system, or maybe it was the $10,000 plus power bills hammering customers across Texas during the February freeze, or it could be those images of frozen windmills, snow-covered solar panels and devastating wildfires. And if all that wasn’t bad enough, the failure of the Texas RTO system literally caused Texans to freeze to death last month when their power providers’ RTO system failed.

So there are a whole host of reasons customers want an all-of-the-above approach that includes power sources like natural gas and nuclear that are cleaner than coal but aren’t subject to shutting down in bad weather or the dark like solar panels and windmills. And it should surprise no one that a stunning 88% of North Carolina voters prefer and trust the state’s current energy model of North Carolina-headquartered, vertically integrated utilities owning, generating and supplying their power over the Big Tech, Facebook and Google-backed RTO system that failed so catastrophically in Texas and California.

So on political spending, on intellectual honesty about the reform majorities’ environmental policies, on the state’s ongoing transition to cleaner power, and on importing Texas’ RTO mess to North Carolina, the Big Green Machine has big problems. And that’s not a big surprise.