Energy discussion at Heartland’s Emerging Issues Forum

North Carolina House Majority Leader Mike Hager discussed his states woes caused by a renewable portfolio mandate.
North Carolina House Majority Leader Mike Hager discussed his state’s woes caused by a renewable portfolio mandate.

December 10, 2015

I’m back in the office after a great Heartland Institute Emerging Issues South Forum in Nashville yesterday, where I moderated a panel on energy and environment issues. (I’m honored to be a Policy Advisor for the Heartland Institute.)

Some takeaway points:

  • While we’re watching the big stuff — Keystone, Clean Power Plan, fracking overregulation, etc., Bette Grande of Heartland explained, federal agencies work overtime to trip you up throughout the process, so that while you think you’ve cleared one hurdle in applications, you encounter another.
  • Tom Tanton of the Energy and Environment Institute pointed out two things: American technological innovation is doing amazing things yet being held back by government, which just can’t keep up. Also, environmental activist groups collude with the federal agencies to pass regulations by suing to have them implemented, then “settling” with the agencies before the court rules — thereby skirting the legislative process.
  • North Carolina House Majority Leader Mike Hager, who knows of what he speaks, had a note of caution: Renewable energy mandates are hurting businesses and the price of goods in North Carolina, as well as low-income consumers. And turning them back, even though they’re bad policy, has been really difficult!

All in all, a great conference and I can’t wait to share the video with you. As I told the attendees, consider Heartland Institute to be the “Associated Press” of policy news: Their publications are a wonderful roundup of do’s and don’ts in public policy around the nation.

My thanks again to John Nothdurft and Logan Elizabeth Pike of the for inviting me to participate and for allowing Sal Nuzzo and me to give several shout-outs to our colleagues at the State Policy Network!

Benita Dodd

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