FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31, 2022
Joel Porter, CleanAIRE NC, (913) 271-2899, [email protected]
CleanAIRE NC Statement on NC Utilities Commission’s Release of Inaugural Carbon Plan
The NC Utilities Commission released the state’s first Carbon Plan late yesterday, outlining how North Carolina will reduce carbon emissions in the coming years and decades. After years of delayed action, our state is finally committing to seriously addressing climate change.
While the plan is far from perfect, CleanAIRE NC commends the Commission for taking this historic step. In the plan, the Commission encourages Duke Energy to evaluate meeting an ambitious goal of a 1.5% reduction of eligible retail electricity sales through energy efficiency measures. Additionally, the Commission requires the company to take a more proactive approach to engaging environmental justice communities and communities that may be affected by the clean energy transition.
Solar, wind, and battery storage are included in the Commission’s plan for reducing emissions; however, in the near term, the Commission tasked Duke Energy with procuring less solar than many experts and environmentalists had proposed. The Commission is also allowing Duke to continue to pursue new fossil gas resources, which could put our state targets, and any hope to manage adverse effects of climate change, out of reach.
There is clearly room for improvement, and CleanAIRE NC looks forward to opportunities to build and improve upon this foundation. The NC Utilities Commission will reevaluate this plan every two years to ensure it represents the best path forward for our state.
With the unprecedented federal investments in clean energy infrastructure that will soon come into our state, we will also work to ensure that money is directed to the people and communities who need it most.
We must meet the carbon reduction targets set by HB 951 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 to avoid the worst outcomes of the climate crisis. CleanAIRE NC is committed to this goal and will continue to advocate for equity and sustainability in future iterations of the NC Carbon Plan.
CleanAIRE NC is a statewide nonprofit organization advocating for the health of all North Carolinians by pursuing equitable and collaborative solutions that address climate change and air pollution.