Evolving energy may be cheaper
Count me among those Duke Energy customers who don’t want their new rate plan (“A plan that many Duke Energy customers don’t want is advancing in NC,” April 30). In the Senate Bill 559 rate plan, Duke Energy would get a blank check for five years, locking in rules at a time when fast evolution in clean energy would otherwise benefit the consumer. Financial models for clean energy are improving rapidly. Five years ago, solar farms had not yet hit their stride in financing. Now, entrepreneurs access ever-more-efficient sources of capital. Costs for solar, wind, batteries and energy efficiency are all on a steady declining curve. Projects that did not pencil last year look promising for 2021. Our smartest future comes from powering North Carolina with economical clean energy. In 2018, solar and wind were competitive with un-subsidized electricity across the country. And they work without the ugly pollution – mining, burning, disposal, climate change – that fossil fuels impose on us. Senate Bill 559 would take us backwards instead of forwards.
A robust economy
This current economy is the best economy I can ever recall, and I’m an old man of 63. The economy is hitting on all cylinders at present. There are “Now Hiring” signs posted virtually everywhere. There is low inflation, low interest rates and low gas prices, too. It’s a boom time for American investors and for American workers too. There’s not much to dislike with how things are going in this economy.
Sex ed too valuable to weaken
North Carolina touts itself as being innovative, modern and progressive, yet elected officials are happily rolling back access to basic health education through several regressive sex-ed bills. Sex education is education. Access to sex education has been critical in helping teens stay safe and healthy. It helps those teens grow into adults who have healthy relationships and who understand safe-sex practices. Rates of unintended pregnancy among teens in the U.S. have reached a historic low, and more young people are delaying sexual activity until they’re ready and using birth control — all due to comprehensive sex ed. What purpose do these bills serve but to reduce access to sex-ed and put heavy burdens on public schools? It’s crucial that we listen to young people and school administrators and reject these bills. We should work to ensure that North Carolina’s youth get the necessary information they deserve to protect their health and plan their futures. The way forward is through the expansion of evidence-based health education. These bills will hurt our students and our schools. I reject House Bill 196, House Bill 315, and Senate Bill 318 for North Carolina.
To the Board of Elections: Don’t fire Kim Strach. She’s good and fair with both parties. That’s what regulatory politics should be about — even-handedness and impartiality. The Democratic majority on the board should step back, make sure their socks match, and be reasonable. I am a Democrat. I do not like what the Democrats on the Election Board want to do. Let’s keep good people in their jobs.
In his current column calling for “soul searching” by Democrats, J. Peder Zane’s frothing at the mouth has reached a previously unrealized extreme (“Democrats should be searching their souls,” May 9). His charge is that Democrats have been engaged, from the outset, in an effort to “overturn the 2016 election” with a baseless, partisan “witch hunt.” For good measure, he calls out the “liberal news outlets” as complicit enablers whose writings henceforth should not be believed.
There was good reason for the Mueller inquiry, prompted by evidence of efforts to tamper with U.S. electoral processes. What ensued was a professional, thorough and credible investigation. Fortunately, Trump and associates were exonerated. That finding, however, did not obviate the need for the inquiry.
Zane can’t bring himself to consider the likely reason for Trump’s immediate, frantic and persistent efforts to prevent any inquiry into the 2016 election: ego-driven vanity. He was desperate to impede any inquiry suggesting that his popular vote might have been augmented by anything other than his own remarkable attractiveness - which, at least in his mind, could lead to questions about the bona fides of his victory.