North Carolina Gov. Cooper Secures a Big Advance on Climate from Republican-Led Legislature

RALEIGH, NC  --  Today Governor Cooper signed HB951, a bill that was previously a give-away to Duke Energy and the fracked gas industry, but has since undergone intense revisions that will provide a pathway to address climate change. The bill now accelerates the shuttering of uneconomic coal-fired power plants and does not commit to new fracked gas build out, leading the way to significant potential expanded job opportunities for large-scale solar and other renewable energy sources in the state.

Following is reaction from Luis Martinez, Director of Southeast Energy for the Climate & Clean Energy Program at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

“Proving that effective bipartisanship is possible, Governor Cooper’s signature on HB951 is an important move for North Carolina and the country as we try to address the climate crisis at-hand. North Carolina is the first state with a Republican-controlled legislature to codify such rigorous climate targets, which include 70% reductions in power-sector carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.

“While HB951 is a big step forward, the bill also has flaws and more must be done to protect North Carolina’s low-income residents. From here, we will engage in every step of the process — particularly before the North Carolina Utilities Commission — to ensure progress on the carbon reductions and clean energy required by the bill and to ensure that we reduce the energy burden for low-income North Carolinians.”

For more information, read the NRDC blog by Luis Martinez, Jossie Steinberg, and Sam Whillans:

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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