HB 1139: Greenbacks for Green Business | Eastern North Carolina Now

   Publisher's note: This post, by Rhett Forman, was originally published in the Bad Bill of the Week section of Civitas's online edition.

    Remember the embarrassing Solyndra debacle perpetrated by the federal government? You would think that North Carolina lawmakers would have learned a lesson about the futility of granting government privileges to inefficient "green" energy schemes. Think again.

    HB 1139, "Promote Renewable Jobs," sponsored by Reps. Jennifer Weiss (D-Wake), Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), Paul Luebke (D-Durham), and Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson), provides a tax break of 25 percent of the cost of providing facilities to produce components for electric vehicles, including "devices for energy storage, load management, metering, and energy recharging." Investors can get the tax break three ways: build a new facility for manufacturing the components, expand an existing facility, or convert a facility by installing different equipment.

    This legislation involves the government providing an unwarranted competitive advantage to politically-favored companies, rather than moving toward a fair economy in which all companies play by the same rules.

    Moreover, tax incentives drive businesses to invest in areas that otherwise would not be profitable. Such market distortions cause scarce resources to be tied up in green boondoggles, and thus no longer available for more valued uses as determined by consumer preferences. Instead, productive capital flows to uses favored by politicians, which serves to centralize even more power into the hands of the political class.

    Hybrid and electric automobiles are much more expensive than their gas-dependent counterparts. Being a strict, environmentally-conscious consumer is a heftier financial burden than most North Carolinians can bear in these harsh economic times. Only the wealthiest consumers can afford an electric car. Lower-income North Carolinians will be unable to replace their outdated vehicles with newer, more reliable models if gas-dependent car prices go up as a result of high demand and less competition. As with most government interventions into the market, they over-burden the average consumer.

    Let consumers drive demand and let businesses respond to that demand. Obey the laws of the free market, and if the environmentalists are right about resource scarcity (and that's a big "if"), then the cost of having a gas guzzling SUV or truck will eventually surpass the price of an electric car. Let the free market thrive, and both consumers and environmentalists may one day get what they want. And if environmentalists are wrong? Well, then, all that tax break money will have been wasted on making parts for shiny new cars that only the rich can afford.

    For continuing to cram green legislation down the throats of North Carolina business investors and consumers, HB 1139 takes the cake for "Bad Bill of the Week".
Go Back

Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )

Education Reform 2012: Here we go again...same old failed ideas Civitas Institute, Editorials, Op-Ed & Politics Nullification: The Rightful Remedy to Curb Federal Tyranny - Part I


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Leftist media outlet Vox announced layoffs that will impact 7% of employees as other companies in the sector implement similar measures.
The city of Atlanta is entering its second week of violent, fiery riots that have been organized and executed by just an idea.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) played a role in directing millions of dollars in funds to groups associated with his wife, according to a new report.
Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, today announced his intended committee appointments for the 2023-24 legislative biennium.
Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw championed the use of the U,S. military to combat the drug cartels smuggling deadly fentanyl across the southern border into the United States.
Jewish drag queen and 9/11 survivor Congressman George Santos is celebrating this week, having landed a lucrative endorsement deal with Whoppers Original Malted Milk Balls.
A border sheriff in Texas is requesting other sheriffs across the state and elsewhere to aid him in securing his county against an unprecedented wave of illegal immigration.


NGO was assisting illegal alien migrants reach Greece, 24 of their workers charged with felonies
Country star Ricky Skaggs said concert goers at his shows are more open these days to hearing about the gospel after all “the latest craziness,” “the virus,” and more.
“Will and Grace” star Leslie Jordan’s cause of death has finally been revealed three months after news broke that the actor was found without a pulse inside his crashed car. He was 67.
Local man Gary Marmon climbed to the top of The Forbes 400 after it was revealed he possessed both Taylor Swift tickets and a dozen eggs. Marmon beat out former richest man Elon Musk, who called the newcomer a beacon of inspiration.
The Biden administration on Friday blasted as “incomprehensible” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s move to block a controversial African American studies course from being taught in the state’s public high schools, even as leaks revealed the course’s syllabus leans into wokeism.
On Wednesday, the North Carolina General Assembly will hold opening ceremonies to kick off the 2023 legislative session. In odd-numbered years, legislators hold a “long session” starting in January.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack never attended meetings of the task force he co-chaired to help resolve the nation’s supply chain woes, according to a public records request from the Functional Government Institute.
Like Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon where all the children are above average, it is great to hike with your dog anywhere. If you have a treasured local spot to take your dog on outings you know you live in the best state for hiking with your dog.
Three active-duty Marines face charges for allegedly entering the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.


Back to Top