Zero Emissions Climate and Clean Energy; A Southern Governor’s Plan

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Following the past two catastrophic hurricanes as well as devastating floods in the past 3 years in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper, has proposed a new and clean energy plan, aimed at reducing the state’s climate impact.

Not long ago, the state; North Carolina, took a high-pitched lurch to the right, following these climate change effects all happening within the past three years.

Just after replacing a Democrat who probed if the climate change was brought up by the human activities, Gov. Roy Cooper testified before the Congress concerning the North Carolina’s notable climatic challenges. Also, he unveiled a draft of a clean energy plan, aimed at putting the state on a path that leads to eliminating the carbon emissions from the power sectors come this mid-century.

All of his efforts to fight climate change and global warming effects are facing a cold reality of necessitated support in the North Carolina’s Republican legislature. This is a tough, as well as a significant challenge that has had the clean-energy activists and North Carolina state officials looking for possible way outs and temporarily wins. Take for instance, this week, the state regulators had pressured on the North Carolina’s biggest utility to look into the governor’s greenhouse gas reduction aim in it’s future’s energy production as well as energy-related plans.

The Gop had won the control of the two chambers of legislature back in 2010. The Republican lawmakers “have not shown any propensity to do anything on climate change,” Dan Crawford, the North Carolina League of conservation director said.

He further noted that to achieve substantial clean energy policies, there would be an urge to change those in power in the North Carolina General Assembly.

The biggest utility in North Carolina, Duke, applauded Gov. Cooper for his leadership although he declined to comment beyond the brief statement that flaunted its very own clean-energy progress. The utility enjoys considerable influence in North Carolina state government, operates with more than thirty-five solar power facilities, claiming its investment worth rated at $1 billion-plus in renewable energy in the state for the last ten years.

Gov. Cooper’s plan goes way beyond that. Although, the call for the transformation of the electrical grid, makes this plan more resilient; narrowing down the energy constraints of the low-income residents. Also, this plan aims at cutting down the power sectors greenhouse gas emissions by a range of 60 – 70% below the 2015 levels by the year 2030. This is in the aim of actualizing zero emissions by the year 2050, among other plans.  

Members of the public are open to air their suggestions regarding the draft of the Governors clean energy plan, offering dozens of recommendations.

Luis Martinez, the Natural Resources Defense Council Lawyer noted that there are so many recommendations, although most of them are vaguely worded. “If you don’t prioritize carefully, it will be hard to run in all directions at the same time. The governor and the state agencies will have to be careful how they start.” He said.

Some of the recommendations are aimed at boosting the use of electric cars, while others focus on the encouragement of the “micro-grids”- small groups of businesses or homes that can power themselves; mostly with the solar panels and the battery storage, giving a solution to the rampant blackout cases.

Cities such as Charlotte, Asheville, and Raleigh have already established their clean energy goals.

“There is a clear appetite in North Carolina for a future that embraces clean energy,” said the DEQ spokeswoman Sharon Martin.

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