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Renewable energy requirements could be cut back in NC

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A bill working its way through the state legislature would roll back renewable energy requirements for utility companies, but the company that would be most affected - Duke Energy - is not saying much about it. 

House Bill 298 would roll back the state's requirement that power companies generate a certain amount of their electricity with renewable energy.  In its current form, the amount of renewable energy would be more than halved.  Instead of the required 12 and a half percent by the year 2012, it would only require 6 percent by the year 2015.  And the requirement would expire in 2018. 

Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks would not say whether the company was in favor of the legislation or not.

Jeff Brooks:  You know our focus has been on certainly complying with the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard that does exist.  We were successful, Duke Energy Carolinas and Progress Energy Carolinas in meeting the requirements set forth by the law in 2012 and we're on track to continue complying with that standard in the years ahead.  While we haven't asked for any changes to that bill, certainly we would want to work with any stakeholders to reach consensus on any proposed legislation.

Brooks says the company is monitoring events in the legislature. One of the bill's primary sponsors, Representative Mike Hager, is a former engineer at Duke Energy.  The bill still has to get through several committees before it reaches the House floor.

Jeremy Loeb returned to WHQR at the start of 2013 after living in Washington D.C. and Carrboro, NC for a time. He had previously been working for WHQR as the host of All Things Considered and a backup to the station’s Operations Manager, George Scheibner for around 6 years. He moved back to his hometown of Durham to be close to family, where he worked at WUNC Public Radio for a stint of 2 years as a reporter, host, and producer. After that he moved up to DC with his partner for a year, which was a great experience for him. But he always remembered WHQR fondly and never lost his passion for public radio, so he was happy to return when the opportunity arose.