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Carolina Journal Radio No. 831: Teacher union plans May 1 march in Raleigh

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
April 22, 2019 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 831: Teacher union plans May 1 march in Raleigh

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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April 22, 2019 8:00 am

The N.C. Association of Educators union is urging public school teachers across the state to skip school on May 1 to take part in a march and rally in Raleigh. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation vice president for research and director of education studies, analyzes the union’s goals. He also discusses the potential impact of the lost day of classroom instruction. Ever since North Carolina’s Republican-led General Assembly embarked on major tax reform in 2013, the state has served as a model for state-level tax reformers across the country. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, discusses North Carolina’s successful tax reform model. Ever since losing a Forsyth County court case, the N.C. Department of Transportation has stopped using the Map Act. That act blocked property owners from making any significant changes to property designated in a state highway corridor map. Now some state lawmakers are pushing the repeal the Map Act. You’ll hear their arguments. Some state lawmakers are pushing a new measure to ensure high school students develop a better understanding of personal finances. You’ll hear from the bipartisan supporters of a state Senate measure requiring new financial literacy instruction throughout N.C. high schools. Duke Energy customers will overpay about $1.25 billion over the next 10 to 15 years. The overly high bills will be linked to long-term solar energy contracts state government has forced Duke to sign. Donald van der Vaart, John Locke Foundation senior fellow, explains that the contracts mean bad news for Duke customers. The arrangement also flouts a state law requiring Duke to seek the lowest-cost electricity and to maintain reliability of the electric grid.

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From Cherokee to current attack from the largest city to the smallest town and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio luggage got during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state. North Carolina continues to serve as an example for state-level tax reformers across the country. You hear why from head of the group Americans for tax reform. Some state lawmakers are pushing for the official end of the controversial map act. It violated private property rights and state courts have ruled in favor of site County property owners who challenge the map. Lawmakers are also considering a new financial literacy requirement for the state's public schools why the measures attracting bipartisan support and you learn why solar energy could be forcing Duke energy customers to pay more than $1 billion in higher bills over the next 10 to 15 years if it makes you mad. Be prepared to blame state government. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us now she has the Carolina Journal headline for the second year the North Carolina Association of educators. The NC AE is planning a rally and protest at the Gen. assembly is already resulted in multiple school district cancellations of the school day. Organizers are calling for more pay, as well as the expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina and several other things as well but our next guest says that union activists are actually drowning out serious concerns of dedicated teachers, parents and kids. Terry stoops is the John Locke foundation's vice president for research.

Also, the director of education studies Terry, welcome back to the show. Thank you. Who are these activists give us a sense of who populates the NC AE into they have them allied groups with them yet. This is a group of activist teachers that are mainly centered around the North Carolina Association of educators which is the state affiliates of the national education Association, the largest teacher union here in the United States and these are a small group of teachers, mainly from urban counties and suburban counties that believe the North Carolina teachers need to be unionized essentially and so this is a step toward trying to unionize the teacher workforce.

They are trying to use social media to get as many protesters here on the May 1 event in North Carolina with the ultimate goal of convincing legislators sometime in the future to allow them to have collective bargaining rights and other things that traditional unions have we had a similar episode last year that a protest rally. We had school days, shut down across the state to you had a a massive gathering in Raleigh and it ended up in a teacher pay raise. So from the perspective of those activists. I was pretty successful, are they trying to build on what they are trying to build off of last year's May 16 events they changed a few things of this your number one, they decided to have a different agenda going in. They were rather disorganized when they were asked what they wanted because they wanted higher teacher pay and they were going to get higher teacher pay. The Republicans have already announced before the event that they were to get higher pay. But there was also some rhetoric by Mark Jewell, the head of the NCAA ahead of that May 16 event last year where he was talking about adding rid of the Republicans in the Gen. assembly getting having new people getting charged when hearing that saw that same kind of rhetoric here in the May 1 event that is coming up. There are little more focused on some of their five policy priorities rather than talking about the political goals that they most certainly have behind-the-scenes but are less explicit about in public teacher pay seems to be number one on the list. Now we know that that you mentioned that last time around. Last year, the Republicans who had the majority in the legislature had already determined in built-in a teacher pay raise them into the budget that I believe was the fifth payraise in a row for teachers and so now the activists are saying that they want to sixth letter in there to get it to me there is going to be a teacher pay raise.

The Republicans have already made that promise. We just don't know what kind of payraise it's going to be.

We don't know how much money as can be set aside what percentage that pay increases going to be your house going to be distributed, but Republicans already made clear that they are going to raise teacher pay. This will be the second, sixth, consecutive teacher payraise that doesn't include the increases in total compensation, the healthcare costs that have been going up. The Republicans have paid for and the increase in the pension contributions of Republicans have always been very faithful about providing care. You mentioned that there is a list essentially five key planks that the activists and the folks who are to be marching and protesting have said are there their core requirements so to speak, and there is a are several of them that had scratches to me because they don't really relate to education.

One of them being Medicaid expansion yet. The reasoning here with their demand that the Gen. assembly increase Medicaid is that it will provide healthier adults, which will then provide the means for children to have be in healthier homes and therefore increase student achievement is a roundabout sort of reasoning here that is, you know, something that probably doesn't belong on their list of five demands but is consistent with some of the Democratic Party platform in which they're getting some of their policy ideas from.

So I see this less as an education policy as a nod to the Democratic wing of the did the Democratic inspiration for their policy ideas and for their policy prescriptions. Terry, this is probably gonna be a very large gathering. Interesting that, at least as of the time that you and I are talking about this. It is scheduled for May 1 we seen the Superintendent of Public instruction Mark Johnson try to urge the activists to not do this on a school day. He's asking them to do it on a day when they would normally be off because we already have seen announcements from multiple public school districts in the state have to shut down school because there won't be enough teachers. That's right, I give Mark Johnson all the credit in the world for standing against some of these radical teachers and talking about the fact that this needs to happen on a noninstructional day.

One thing to remember is that we had schools because of hurricane Florence that were out for weeks. They didn't have class for weeks and they're still catching up an anticipation of state testing that happens in May and June. If these kids lose a day just weeks before they encounter state testing that's going to be significant and even more significant for the low income kids in these hurricane Florence affected counties. So this is is a serious matter to an academic matter, and frankly, the fact that they're willing to have this in the middle of instructional Waco suggests that they don't really have the children's best interests at heart. They're not really thinking about the fact that it is significant to lose in instructional day. Instead, they believe that they can both from their jobs on a Wednesday and have school canceled so they can come to Raleigh to wear red and Sue flash showed signs in front of legislators, hoping that that they will adopt a list of the policy prescriptions that they have advanced in their social media campaigns. Terry what you described in him and as we discussed, that the planks that that the organizers of the protestant put out.

It sounds more like a worker rights movement. A worker rights action versus talking about student achievement. How can we work together to try to help North Carolina's kids.

I know that even putting together a more student focused agenda because you and others are concerned that the activists are going to drown out some real issues that we could be working together on that's exactly right. Student achievement should be the primary concern we have relatively low percentages of students that are proficient, especially our our students of color that are proficient in reading and math. He should be the focus. If anything, we should have a list of agenda items that are focused on raising student achievement that should be our sole focus and instead if you look at the list of demands for this May 1 March.

You don't see students appearing much you do you have to stretch to find a way that student performance increase if we if the Gen. assembly would adopt any of the five planks for their demands and that should be really be what we need to think about when we talk about what teachers need to be doing the need to be in class focused on student achievement should be trying to cancel class so thing come to Raleigh for a walkout. We will have you back to SSN how this said goes to get at this point that we do believe it's going to take place on May 1, so have you back to talk about what occurs after Terry stooped is the John Locke foundation's vice president for research.

The director of education studies Terry say with as much North Carolina general radio to come in just a moment government plays a key role in your life affecting your paycheck the way you educate your kids the way you do business.

How can you tell if government is doing a good job making the right choices. Spending tax dollars wisely.

Carolina journal.com tackles those questions every day. The John Locke foundation publishes Carolina journal in print each month and on the web each day@carolinajournal.com you'll find exclusive investigative reports on topics. No one else is covering what else a rundown of the best new stories, editorials and opinion columns in North Carolina.

John Hood's daily Journal news stories and important public events@carolinajournal.tv and the voices of the newsmakers themselves at Carolina journal radio in print on the air and on the web. You can find the information you need@carolinajournal.com welcome back to Carolina journal radio on which Coke I North Carolina has attracted national attention for its tax reforms since 2013.

Does the state remain a role model for tax reformers across the country or other states following our lead or setting even better examples joining us now to help address those questions is Grover Norquist is president of the group Americans for tax reform. Welcome back to the program. Absolutely good to be with you. Look a lot of people talk about Texas no income tax Florida no income tax Nevada no income tax Tennessee no income tax and that's important. But what the other states really need is the model of how to get there if it doesn't do any good to tell you somebody else at the mountaintop you're at the bottom and what North Carolina's done is been a model for other states as I travel around the country. People say I want to be Texas.

I want to be Florida but I want to do it like North Carolina and they see the model of bringing individual and the corporate income tax down with repeated reductions tying it to revenue growth as revenue hits this number that will bring the corporate rate down an individual write down that way, you never get heavier ski tips. The counterexample was Kansas which had some dramatic reductions on spending that a very good forward-looking as revenue goes up we bring down the rates that had a problem with the Supreme Court, which mandated hundreds of millions of dollars of spending so they couldn't match that and they weren't focused on raining and spending at the same time that they were quite understandably correctly focused on bring down taxes so North Carolina has done it steady as she goes to steps forward, three steps for doorsteps practice just but but but not throwing a Hail Mary pass 3 yards and a cloud of dust and every single step is been reasonable, understandable, and only the thoroughly dishonest left argues it all working on Hades notes a very modest shift down down lower lower on corporate and individual rights. North Carolina used to be the high tax state in the region and income taxes.

Now it's a lower tax state and clearly en route to zero clearly en route to zero as in Arizona and people are saying we are due with our current I've been in Oklahoma and bills are going to be like Carolyn asserts it is helping North Carolina citizens with its approach, step-by-step approach to get to zero personal income tax or corporate conduct. Certainly reaping the benefits of investment and migration from other states from high-tech states into North Carolina but you're also benefiting theirs, the country you mentioned that you talk to people in other states you would like to get to the zero point and use North Carolina's path to get there. Are there any other states that you're seeing now that you say okay North Carolina, you started this ball but now you ought to be watching with the states doing and follow their lead was number states and got rid of the franchise taxes, which is a particularly destructive tax since 17 states still have it.

But even many of those are looking to base, not Mississippi, is that I think for years and were tenure phaseout of their franchise tax. So saying will go to get.

Let's take a quoted quote afford to get rid of one year. Okay, stretch it out. How many years do you think you can take a bite of the apple each year, but make it a clear path to zero, not cut it a little bit with little but people looking to move into North Carolina as many do or expand here, which is probably more frequent are looking at the franchise tax and going out on the other border.

We don't have the franchise tax, but if they know that coincided it's going. That's a big incentive to invest in job creation in where chatting with Grover Norquist is president of the group Americans for tax reform one of Luke back to something you mentioned earlier and that he is that while tax rates have gone down a big drop. At first, and then incrementally since then, North Carolina government has also focused on keeping a lid on spending increases in the budget. How important is that it's very important to keep spending down and to trend it down to constantly check because government spending creeps up if you don't do anything like middle-aged people gain weight if they don't do something you have to actively decide to not get what governments everybody in the government thinks that if they had more money they could do XYZ and they'll fight for it now quite recognize it's a waste of money to spend it someplace else, but they don't have the same self-knowledge in their own department so having an ethos that you're right way yourself every morning keep checking how much is the government spending and what are they promising for the future. Governments tend to grow by saying what we don't want to raise spending now such a what will raise your pension so 30 years from now when I'm dead. The mayor will have to raise taxes to pay for the pensions so watching for promises of spending in the future is every bit as important but more important than focusing on. Let's not raise spending right now as we talk to some of the lawmakers who been involved in this process and have been involved in cutting rates occasionally you'll hear someone who says you know we've cut the rates in our revenues have gone up so we really don't need to worry that much about the spending side wired that way are they thinking in the wrong way. Especially the thinking things happen. That's what happened to Connecticut and Kansas.

When Obama said we are going to raise capital gains taxes in January like it was sold stock and in the last quarter, I believe, is 2011 Connecticut got $40 million more than expected. They got were rich. We had this permanent $4 million 1/4.

New spending coming in. They'd missed it was all driven by a one time change in Kansas. They got about $80 and they should all will our supply-side tax cuts, which did create growth in jobs is really on steroids and much faster than we expected and then they decide to go, increase spending, based on the higher projections, which then got you the backlash from the establishment press and from Democrats and from week will the Republicans who said oh no doubt have to get right. If not, the overspending, but the tax cut they undid their tax cut by overestimating an increasing spending and I think you're much better off reacting very slowly to sudden increases in income and when you see them lasting. That's the time to start to get bring the taxes down little little more, following up on that for North Carolina. Obviously we're interested in keeping the tax rates as low as possible and seeing government have the money it needs to run from the national perspective.

How important is to you that North Carolina continue on this path and not become another Kansas. It's extremely important because states the crash and burn often come to Washington one Lou thrust the country and solid pro growth stable functioning states are the bulwark against bailing out California when it is bankrupt.

Who is to say no when Illinois goes.

We need money. It will bankrupt debtors go bankrupt like General Motors and it's very important that some states get it right because you need good examples. You need good examples.

You try to history, people get heroes as good examples nonpersonal life. But how do you live your life Howdy run your state.

You look around at the other 49 states and say let's be like North Carolina. Let's be like Arizona. Let's be like Texas.

Let's not be like Illinois and the more good examples. They are the more credible their overtime. Some states perform better than others because they have lower taxes, less regulation is North Carolina continues along its path.

We know one person is going to be watching very closely. Grover Norquist, president of Americans protect thanks for joining us. I think you will have more on Carolina journal radio just if you have freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups across North Carolina all in one place North Carolina conservative.com it's one stop shopping for North Carolina's freedom movement and North Carolina conservative.com.

You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina journal.com reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and let foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education from the James Dean Martin Center for academic renewal, commentary and polling data from the scimitar's Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council.

That's right, all in one place North Carolina conservative.com that's North Carolina spelled out conservative.com North Carolina conservative.com. Try it today. North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John Locke foundation like Carolina. Journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke in the sea and at Carolina journal news, insights and analysis you'll find nowhere else. Thanks to the experts at the John Locke foundation and thanks to the first-class investigative reporting of Carolina journal. Don't wait for the morning newspaper. Don't wait for the evening news if it's happening now it's happening here the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal.

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They were also buying and renting families properties and undercutting the rental market definitely in many different fonts map that had a negative impact on the realistic market representative Dana Bumgardner responded to Conrad's bill to in the map back when this bill is really about is keeping videotape from Tanner property for 30 years and not compensating people for that's really what this is about, which is what they've been doing that. Then, in a nutshell, and it impacted a lot of farmers as well and might need to build a new grain silo or something and they were prohibited by doing that it impacted a lot of people's lives in a negative way representative John Torbert tallied the map acts costs. One might ask, what's it gonna cost the taxpayer this day. Right now there is rain there. One third of the way through the litigation and the sum they have paid out to date is around 230 million. So one can safely do the math know somewhere over $600 million will be that the cost to complete the purchasing of the runaways involved in current litigation.

So as we look at funding and would take two steps forward with this Gumby a step sideways listening to debate about repealing North Carolina's controversial map back will return with more Carolina journal radio development where doubling down on freedom at Carolina journal radio were proud to bring you stories that impact your life and your wallet.

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Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I Mitch coca, some state lawmakers want to ensure that students learn something in high school about finances pursuing the bill called the economics and financial literacy act. Lieut. Gov. Dan Forest is offering vocal support for the idea. This bipartisan legislation. There is nothing about this legislation that I think anybody's going to stand against anybody.

In fact, I think the vast majority of North Carolinians with probably already believe that were teaching economics and financial literacy are schools right now we would just assume that that is the case, but that's not the case in which we have $22 trillion of debt in this nation we have $100 trillion worth of unfunded liabilities in our country right now we have student debt, becoming the largest form of death in America, even beyond mortgage that that's kinda incomprehensible in this day and age $38,000 per student in America today. Student loan debt. We have to start to deal with these things in the classroom.

We need to deal with them long before college. In fact, not really what this legislation is about. It's about making it a requirement for every high school student who passes economic/financial literacy requirement course were not really adding anything extra onto the teachers play direction gonna reorganize something so that they can make room for the classroom but we really want to continue to talk about the rules of the things going on in our country related financial literacy, 40% of Americans today cannot even afford a $400 bill that unexpected $400 bill or invoice it comes to their going to have to borrow money on credit or other than have to sell something half of Americans right now have more credit debt than they do savings. Gov. Dan Forest offers more sobering statistics about Americans finances. The average North Carolina household is indebted on average $8683 on credit debt so 21% of Americans have nothing zero saved up for retirement only 15% of Americans are now on track have one year of retirement savings in the bank. Only 15% of Americans are so knowing these facts and knowing these figures. Obviously tells us that we have some work to do. There's always more work to do in education, but I'm a firm believer in the basics we need to get the basics right that we need to teach our high school students the basics of life are getting ready to get into as they exit high school and go to work in a job or go off to college and financial literacy is purely just the basics. Forest sees benefits that extend beyond the students and not only does this benefit of the students.

I think this is going to benefit the teachers and the principles as well back.

We've already heard from the folks that train the financial literacy and economics training the teachers come out of the training, saying how come I have never learned this.

This is good for me and it's good for my family. Why have I never learned these things. Republican State Sen. Jerry Tillman of Randolph County is the main sponsor of the economics and financial literacy act. We got kids in graduate school that don't know how well they don't know how credit they don't know how to handle a credit card.

They don't know how to handle money, they don't know how banks work, they don't know how money they don't know how it they don't know a thing about mortgage but with a very few short years, some of them are already in the lives for your home will you are a spouse, you will be having Joan you already there's a lot of things just basics to so many kids go out of this world without a clue about how to handle money back. How the world of money work is something this basic, yet they don't know got three kids in Roman all of them had learned these things while trying to do learn.

Tillman explains the details of the economics and financial literacy act is the first history that hospitals must take and pass economic and personal-finance core graduate and past it will be a graduation requirement. One of the 20th, 21 now that will be required. There will be a standalone course and not wedged into a civic glass or into another.class a standalone course standing on its own merit. The ideal already has some bipartisan support Democratic State Sen. Jay Chaudhary of wake County is a primary sponsor. This bill makes a Lotta sense it makes a lot of sense because by requiring the state Board of Education Department of Public instruction to create a standalone economic and personal-finance course, we will make sure that our students receive receive the financial literacy in an instruction that they need and deserve.

We can do this without creating any additional requirements for teachers and restructuring the current social studies curriculum. Let me say as the former General Counsel at the North Carolina Department of State treasure. I can tell you that it's critical we provide retirement security to all of our citizens. But here's a reality in our country we have almost 1/4 of our families that have no money in their retirement accounts and if you look at the median family holdings. Today they only have $5000 in their savings and we cannot meet our retirement security unless we educate and empower our young people about the importance of money in this bill does exactly that. If you think about high school students and how they earn and spend money.

This bill makes a Lotta sense.

It will teach them about how to select a credit card them about credit scores and it will teach them about planning and paying for college, including understanding what a monthly debt payment might mean.

After graduation, and I believe that this curriculum combined with a high school students real-life financial experience will create a series of teachable moments through this bill a high school student will retain and remember, I believe that these important financial lessons of the cystic shows that such financial literacy courses are needed.

According to one study, only 24% of millennial's demonstrate basic financial literacy, nearly half don't believe that they can come up with $2000 if an unexpected need arose within the next 12 months and more than half of them carried a credit card balance in the last year.

This bill also recognizes that a school needs a good partner to carry out a comprehensive financial literacy program and again command center. Tillman and Lieut. Gov. Dan Forest for finding a great partner.

The North Carolina Council economic education organization that I've known since my time serving at the Department of State treasure of the money dedicated to this money will help train teachers who have the knowledge and confidence to educate a whole new generation of financially savvy students, let me say from a personal perspective, I wish that I had a course like this when I attended high school back in favor Sen. Jay Chaudhary says she might've made some different financial decisions.

If he had the class proposed in the economics of financial literacy act.

Quote Dave Ramsey we buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like and while our spending never reflected Dave Ramsey statement we've made some personal financial changes. The changes that I wish I'd learned back in high school when and by quoting Marty Stewart, who has a song called too much month at the end of the money paid the bank note the car note. Yes, I paid the phone bill to and I turned around and I found that the house notes do what I love to take you out.

Like I said I would, honey, there's too much month at the end of the month that's Democratic State Sen. Jay children, one of the bipartisan sponsors of a measure to increase financial literacy among North Carolina's high school students will return with more Carolina journal radio commitment to truth and transparency in government.

That is the mission of Carolina journal and we are proud to deliver and now proud to tell you the North Carolina press Association has honored to members of our team with awards reporting and writing, that's right, we really do deliver award-winning journalism we shine the light on government spending, reveal the truth about boondoggles and dig deep into programs paid for with your tax money. We keep you in the know in a way other media outlets don't in our reach and influence are growing all of our outlets. We reach more than 1 million N. Carolinians each month so make sure you're one of them. Our monthly print edition arrives in your mailbox every month. Our online daily news site Carolina journal.com has fresh stories, opinion pieces, and more. The award-winning Carolina journal team I reporters make government accountable to you. Call 1866 JL FINFO for your free subscription, welcome back to Carolina journal radio I'm Dina Martina's roughly $1.25 billion.

That is how much Duke energy customers will be overpaying for electricity over the next 10 to 15 years. Our next gas rights that we can thank North Carolina law, along with Gov. Roy Cooper higher bills that are coming with these long-term solar energy contracts, Duke has been forced to accept Don Vander var is a senior fellow with the John Locke foundation during the McCrory years.

He was the secretary of the Department of environmental quality were also the state's energy policy advisor so you know your staff welcome to the show at first about why you solar Blooming in North Carolina. That's a great question is also slightly complicated, but the short answer is, it is Blooming North Carolina because of government subsidies, both state and federal and North Carolina, more subsidies, more interpretations of federal law that were amenable to solar any other state. I come from Arizona, so one would think will cheat the desert, maybe Arizona, maybe Texas, maybe California would be leaving the country in solar power and solar plants, but North Carolina's right up there. Arizona actually has better what we call solar resource words sun shines. There so that your question makes sense. But North Carolina due to North Carolina law that was passed in 2007.

Decided that they were going to have the taxpayer subsidize much of the growth they did that because I didn't want all of these costs to to to rest with the right pair, you would've seen dramatic increases in rates had not some $2 billion worth of this investment come from the taxpayer instead.

So the taxpayers on the hook for about $2 billion more but there were other interpretations that the state is specifically federal law. There are also very, very attractive to solar solar plants.

So much so that North Carolina now is number one state in this federally qualified definition of soul and and so is and what that means is that our utilities have to buy the power that comes from them and they have to be put in these long-term contracts that are very profitable. So what you're saying. It sounds like to me is that the solar industry is not growing just naturally based on market dynamics here in North Carolina it's it's essentially propped up by subsidies and in laws that make it very favorable insult. Insofar as of state and federal mandates not being natural. Your your correct if they were gone, you would see them stop to the expansion stop or slow down dramatically and more sense to the topic of an email that we know was sent by the head of one of the largest solar companies here to Gov. Cooper himself appealing to the to the governor to try to to try to force Duke into going back and taking outdated interpretation of the struggle here's what's fascinating for so I would encourage folks to read your piece.

It published a Carolina journal.com. The headline thanks to solar power deals your electric bill is higher one the things you write on is that Tom if people want to somehow sail that darn that darn power company.

My bill is too high. Actually, Duke had been sounding the alarm about a couple of things. One of them was a higher bills for two years prior to this year.

Duke had been recognizing that these old contracts. They were signed.

There were going to be in place for 15 years were were very disadvantageous to repair what they were trying to do was get the utilities commission to change the interpretation of this federal law and ultimately is our state legislature that the stepped in and made that action and that became hostile. 59 and I will go into all those things, but there were there because of the changed interpretation of this federal law. The estimates were that customers will save $850 million going forward. Under this new interpretation. So are you telling me that the electric bill that Duke customers are getting in the mail and will continue to receive going forward actually could be lower than what it wouldn't. In fact, right now, Duke will say right now were already overpaying someone billion dollars and they want to stop because of HB 589. You're exactly right.

You see a crop in your bills going forward. Unfortunately that didn't happen. The folks at Duke also had been trying to get to folks to pay attention to them because they were a little bit concerned about what's termed the stability of the electric grid and how that relates to renewables and solar power.

In particular, what's the concern. There will it's pretty, pretty intuitive to understand the sunshine. See solar plants pump out the electricity rest of the system generating system drop back when it's cloudy or when the sun shone for whatever reason, it reverses that during the day that goes on quite a bit of a seesaw found a seesaw fact and it's very hard on the other combustion turbines, but it's also very hard on the grid itself. As you can imagine those need to be balanced. For us to have a constant supply so would do consent was looking at was fine when we first started this, we have some play in the system and we can absorb these new intermittent generator plants were at the end of that and so going forward.

We have more your risk and unstable grid of arrests won't have to spend a whole lot of money to accommodate these fees increase gross software so that they they they brought that up as well. Again, going forward I think were still in the think some of their concerns are going to be realized. You mentioned that the general assembly at one point had gotten involved in was set taking steps to sort of rein in some of these long-term expensive solar contracts, but then Gov. Roy Cooper got involved in this help us understand what role he played so so the bill did get the build out past and they have these consumer protections, namely that going forward. These rates will be competitively determined and would be as many of them signed. Well, that wasn't going to be beneficial, particularly to the solar industry and they appeal to Cooper apparently according to reports from news agency WBT the Roy Cooper Gov. Cooper then withheld you, or used as leverage permit needed for another project for the pipeline to force Duke into signing a settlement that essentially undid those protections that the legislature put in nine when an action like that generate a whole lot of questions by all sorts of people involved in this. Obviously it's pretty complicated and so there is a lot of there is a lot of misinformation out there. Some people think that the little rider that's on your on your power bill is the only amount that we pay for solar that's not true that that's only one facet of the laws.

The overwhelming majority of the additional costs are buried in your rate and that's unfortunate that there is a legislative action there's an investigation going on have several different things including these questions, exactly. And so if it turns out that the reporter from WB TV was correct, that there really was extortion if you will be applied to do and that's very serious and in the legislature legislator has taken the historic step of actually hiring investigators if it turns out that direct the Duke had signed under duress. I think that the settlement on John Vandermark is a senior fellow, I hope you'll join us again next week for another edition of Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John Locke foundation to learn more about the John Locke foundation donation support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development John Locke done call 66 jail left 166-553-4636 Carolina journal radio is the John line foundation, Carolina's free-market think tank and Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program and are solely those did not merely reflect the station.

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