Guest Opinion: Preparing for energy security and sustainability

Published 6:52 am Monday, April 18, 2022

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By Rep. Charlie Miller, R-Brunswick, vice-chair of the House Committee on Energy and Public Utilities

As Russian aggression disrupts stability around the globe, we feel it here at home. Our economy continues to experience the ripple effect of President Biden’s dependence on foreign oil.

As gas prices go up, the cost to produce and transport goods also increase. This means we don’t only pay more at the pump; we pay more at the grocery store, the shopping mall, and virtually everywhere else.

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Reliance on importing foreign energy disrupts our economy, and more importantly, it weakens our national security. It’s time North Carolina positions itself as a leader in strategic, innovative solutions to enhance the reliability and resiliency of our domestic energy production.

We have an opportunity to make smart investments in the utility grid to mitigate outages caused by severe weather and other threats, such as cyber-attacks. Recently, Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good has demonstrated tremendous leadership in their effort to keep our electric grid in a heightened state of preparedness, monitoring everything and sharing important information with the U.S. government and FBI to deter cyber threats.

I’m also proud of the work we have accomplished together through HB 951: Energy Solutions for North Carolina, an effort led by Chairmen Dean Arp and John Szoka intended to roll back carbon dioxide emissions in our state. This landmark bipartisan legislation is just the beginning of our work on long-term sustainability.

To secure our energy sources and enable the growth of sustainable clean solutions, we need to provide a free-market approach that allows businesses the room to innovate and invest in a safe, renewable, and lower carbon energy future. This will create American jobs and enhance economic vitality and national security.

We have an opportunity to make North Carolina a leader in market-based energy solutions. As we approach the legislative short session, I remain committed to fighting for a sustainable energy-independent future that works for families and businesses, keeping emissions low, and cutting costs for all North Carolinians.

State Representative Charlie Miller (R-Brunswick) is a member of the North Carolina General Assembly, serving as vice-chair of the House Committee on Energy and Public Utilities.