Governor Cooper Commits to Clean Energy Economy for NC

On Monday at SAS Institute’s solar farms in Cary, NC, Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 80, which calls for the State of North Carolina to protect North Carolina’s environment while growing clean energy technologies.

Order No. 80 affirms North Carolina’s commitment to reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels by 2025, according to a press release from Gov. Cooper. The order also calls for an increase in registered, zero-emission vehicles (“ZEVs”) in North Carolina to at least 80,000, and a 40% reduction in energy consumption in state-owned buildings.

“Continuing the tradition of clean energy and transportation generates jobs and economic development opportunities while at the same time, protecting our clean air, clean water, lands, and wildlife, for generations to come,” Cooper said. “Not only is this the right thing to do environmentally; it’s the smart thing to do economically.”

According to the press release, the order directs the following actions:

•  The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will develop a North Carolina Clean Energy Plan to encourage the use of clean energy, including wind, solar, energy efficiency, and energy storage.
•  The North Carolina Department of Transportation will develop a plan to accelerate the use of zero-emission vehicles across state government. Cabinet agencies will prioritize the use of ZEVs for trips that can reasonably be made with a ZEV.
•  DEQ will help cabinet agencies improve their energy efficiency and publicly report utility consumption.
•  The North Carolina Department of Commerce will support the expansion of clean energy businesses and service providers, clean technology investment, and companies with a commitment to procuring renewable energy.
•  All cabinet agencies will integrate climate mitigation and resiliency planning into their policies, programs and operations.

“Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Micheal have caused catastrophic flooding and wind damage across our state,” said Michael Regan, NC DEQ Secretary. “And the communities hit the hardest have the most to gain from the transition to a clean energy economy, and a more resilient infrastructure investment in North Carolina.”

“Today is a monumental beginning for NC’s clean energy and economic future,” Regan said.

View the full executive order here.

(Information from Gov. Cooper’s press release)