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Governor, Regulators Standing Up to Dirty Energy Interests in North Carolina
James Bruggers reports on the changes in North Carolina in since January 2017, when Governor Gary Cooper took office:
After replacing a Republican who questioned whether climate change was caused by human activities, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has testified before Congress on North Carolina's sizable climate challenges and unveiled a draft clean energy plan designed to put the state on a path toward eliminating carbon emissions from the power sector by mid-century.
The state's Republic legislature has forced Governor Cooper and allies on matters of climate policy to seek short-term wins and work-arounds, however.
The example that informs Bruggers's reporting centers around Duke Energy, the biggest utility in the state, which has developed solar power for use in the state but still largely relies on coal and natural gas. A clean energy plan championed by Governor Cooper would require Duke to go further in reducing emissions from electricity generation.
Here's where the "work-arounds" referenced by Bruggers comes in. Should legislators balk at Cooper's clean energy plan, it's becoming evident that state regulators could decide to clamp down on Duke's emissions anyways.
In addition to detailing some of the initial actions of the state in siding with the governor and pressuring Duke to target more aggressive carbon emissions reduction, the article also includes a lot more detail on the components of the governor's clean energy plan.