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June 29, 2015

Dear Representatives,
 
As members of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) who live, invest or do business in North Carolina, we write in opposition to efforts to freeze or limit North Carolina’s existing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), including H. 332.
 
E2 is a nonpartisan, national community of business leaders who promote sound environmental policies that grow the economy. We are entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who collectively have been involved in the financing, founding or development of more than 1,700 companies that have created more than 570,000 jobs. Our members manage billions of dollars in venture and private equity capital that will flow over the next several years into new companies in North Carolina and beyond.

There is a reason why North Carolina has become a national leader in the solar industry. It’s because it is the only state in the Southeast with a renewable portfolio standard.
 
The economic benefits that have accrued since North Carolina passed its renewable energy standard are obvious. Approximately 23,000 North Carolinians now have good-paying jobs in clean energy, according to the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA). Clean energy companies have generated billions of dollars in economic activity in the state. In the past three years alone, more than 10,000 good-paying jobs have been announced in clean energy and clean transportation jobs in North Carolina, according to E2’s quarterly clean energy job announcements reports. You can find more details at http://cleanenergyworksforus.org/states/north-carolina/
 
Freezing or limiting the renewable standard would send an unnecessary and destabilizing shockwave through the state’s clean energy industry, putting these jobs at risk, discouraging future investment in the state, and taking North Carolina’s economy and environment backward.
 
We know what happens when states do what you’re considering in North Carolina. After Ohio froze its renewable energy standard under Ohio S.B. 310, clean energy companies in that state laid off employees; shuttered their doors, scaled back their investment and were forced to turn to other markets for business. E2’s recent Clean Jobs Ohio report, which you can find here, details how the industry was adversely affected in the wake of Ohio’s S.B. 310. As Ohio state Rep. Dan Ramos put it in this recent opinion piece in the Raleigh News & Observer, “we have tried this experiment already. It has failed, it hurt our economy, it did not help our people find work.”
 
Lastly, remember that North Carolina business owners – like most North Carolinians – don’t want you to freeze or roll back the successes we’ve had with REPS.
 
In a statewide poll of nearly 400 small business owners E2 did last year, nearly 70 percent of respondents said it was important for the state’s economy to expand its renewable energy sources. Further, 52 percent of business owners said they opposed attempts by the General Assembly to end the clean energy standard, with only 31 percent supporting such a move.
  
For all these reasons and more, we strongly encourage you not to stop North Carolina’s progress by freezing the REPS or passing other measures that will hurt the clean energy industry – and ultimately, hurt North Carolina’s economy and environment.
 
 

Dave Belote
Managing Partner & CEO, DARE Strategies LLC
John Campbell
Chairman of the Board, WasteZero
Stephen Cowell
President, E4TheFuture (formerly CSG)
Cal Cunningham
Vice President, General Counsel, WasteZero
Roger Dick
President and Chief Executive Officer, Uwharrie Capital Corp
Bob Keefe
E2 Executive Director
David Kirkpatrick
Managing Director and Co-founder, SJF Ventures
Pete Krull
CEO & Director of Investments, Earth Equity Advisors, LLC
Alex Osadzinski
Chief Marketing Officer, Relias Learning
Locke Raper
Former Executive Director Marketing, BBG
Randy Talley
CEO, Green Sage Café
Doug Trimbach
Vice President and Director, Lighting Services, Energy Optimizers, USA
Christopher Woodward
Vice President, Credit Research, Breckinridge Capital Advisors
Paul Zorner
Locus Solutions

14 members

 

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