Loading...
BYH: To those who keep the Russia probe going. It is time to stop wasting money and time on this. Nothing has been...

Tillis rails against tariff's impact on solar

Senator Collapses

Sen. Thom Tillis

Loading…

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina released a statement to remind us that the Trump administration’s tariffs are hurting a significant part of the state’s economy: the solar energy market that has been providing jobs and essential income for North Carolinians.

Good for him to keep light on this important issue.

“The growth of solar energy in North Carolina has created thousands of jobs, generated billions of dollars of investment, and fostered economic development,” Tillis’ statement read. “Since the imposition of tariffs, North Carolina has experienced an exponential decrease in solar investment and projects planned. ... I will continue to advocate for the exclusion of advanced technologies that have the capability to modernize our grid and make the American solar energy industry globally competitive.”

Tillis is right. The tariffs are on imported solar panels, but the imports are matched with mechanics and infrastructure made in the U.S. In North Carolina, solar farms now generate income where textile factories and tobacco farms once did. The industry powers more than 400,000 homes and employs around 7,000 people, WRAL reported earlier this year. “The state ranks as high as second in solar power production (behind California),” WRAL added, noting Duke Energy’s investment in solar.

Duke Energy operates 35 solar facilities in North Carolina with 2,500 megawatts connected to its energy grid.

Tillis calls for “carve-out exclusions” — but the tariffs, which essentially are taxes on U.S. purchasers — should be eliminated in total. President Trump may not have been thinking about renewable energy in particular when he began imposing tariffs on foreign goods, but his policies serve to remind us of a bigger energy picture that can influence our future for good or ill.

On one side we have renewable energy sources like solar and wind that become cheaper and more reliable as innovations and infrastructure are developed more fully, to the point that they’re now competitive with fossil fuels. It’s the direction that much of the developed world is taking, from China to Germany. Any young person who is good with his or her hands and who wants to find stable and lucrative employment should look into wind turbine repair.

On the other is the Trump administration’s commitment to coal production and drilling for oil, even along our sensitive coasts, and its antipathy toward renewable energy. Earlier this month, the administration announced an impending end to subsidies for electric cars and renewable energy sources.

But fossil fuel can be propped up only for so long. As former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote in a Facebook post several years ago: “I don’t want to be like the last horse and buggy salesman who was holding out as cars took over the roads. I don’t want to be the last investor in Blockbuster as Netflix emerged. That’s exactly what is going to happen to fossil fuels.”

We were once poised to lead the world into a clean energy future, but Trump policies threaten to bump us to the back of the line. North Carolina has a bright and prosperous future in renewable energy. It should be nurtured, not hindered.

News & Record of Greensboro

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

January 18, 2019

For lawmakers looking for a way to end the longest government shutdown in history, we have a suggestion. Google the 13th Amendment and read what it says. It’s just one sentence.

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have…

eleanorclift.jpg

January 18, 2019

What is among the most nagging, gear-grinding frustrations generated by the Great Government Shutdown is that the folks in Washington will do nothing about it except whine.

The shutdown will enter its 28th day today. Apparently, the impasse is over funding to build for a wall between Mexico and the…

Government Shutdown-3

January 17, 2019

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt has displayed patience and grace in navigating the various pressures from the UNC System Board of Governors and the leadership of the General Assembly. It has been particularly evident in addressing the controversy over the fate of the “Silent Sam”…

Confederate Monuments North Carolina

January 16, 2019

Two weeks into this new session of Congress and we’re no closer to knowing who will represent North Carolina’s 9th District in the House of Representatives. Nor do we know who will make the final call on how the seat will be filled or who will fill it. Will it be the state’s board…

Election 2018 9th Congressional District-2

January 14, 2019

Since 1990, lions, tigers and other big cats have killed 24 people ... in the United States.

The latest fatality occurred one week ago near Burlington, when a captive lion attacked and killed an intern at a wildlife center.

Alexandra Black, 22, who had been on the job for only two weeks, was…

Lion Attack-1

January 13, 2019

How fitting is it that President Trump’s first Oval Office address was aimed at stirring up the American public about a crisis largely of his own making?

Pursuing poorly thought-out and even more poorly executed policies on the pretext of battling a nonexistent national security crisis, Trump…

Government Shutdown Trump

January 12, 2019

A federal court ruling in Iowa could signal the unraveling of North Caroina’s harsh, punitive and shortsighted anti-whistleblower law.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa on Wednesday struck down that state’s ag-gag law because if violated the First Amendment. The…

January 11, 2019

When North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders have seen their work struck down in court as unconstitutional — as they have many times — they have frequently responded by attacking the judge or judges as partisan hacks.

That approach won’t work if the conservative-…

Supreme Court Kavanaugh

January 10, 2019

Very promising news about antibiotic use in farm animals has come from the Food and Drug Administration. The problem of resistance — the tendency of bacteria to fight back against antibiotic drugs — has been growing for decades, fueled by overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human…

beef

January 09, 2019

The new session of the General Assembly that convened at noon Wednesday may hold some interesting political twists and turns. Things have changed a bit, in an important way.

As it’s been throughout this decade, Republicans are in charge. But unlike the past few sessions, they no longer hold a…

state seal
87 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»