Q&A with Don Bailey, Commissioner, North Carolina Utilities Commission

What is your reaction to how the EPA’s carbon emissions rule might affect your state? What are some ways your state is already prepared and what might be more challenging? 

In North Carolina, the fact that we do have a Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement, that’s going to help us towards meeting the goals…Themain concern we have now is how we focus our response back for the comment period. The state Department of Energy…is going to be the lead agency in making those responses back. That’s trying to get that collaborative going now so we can make the comment period—that’s a concern I have as a commissioner. So it’s a little early. I don’t really have a good feel for how we as a state are going to do.  We have a lot of vertically integrated utilities have recently closed down some old coal plants, so I think that’s going to help us.  A lot of the clean smoke stack requirements we had in the early 2000’s and over that whole decade is going be a good benefit for us. Particularly for (EPA’s Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule), I mean meeting the MACT requirements will help us with the Clean Power Plan.

Do you foresee your state having a formal or informal stakeholder process?

That has started and they are meeting with the vertically integrated utilities, as well as Dominion, which is part of (the PJM interconnection) in our state. I think it’s going to be more informal than formal.

Do you feel your role and responsibilities as a state regulator are evolving? Why or why not?

No. I think the Department of Natural Resources is going to be the head agency in the state that’s going to take care of this, and we are going to deal obviously with the cost recovery aspect of it.

What are some of the biggest energy issues facing your state?

Coal ash is a major issue that we have no environmentally. Legislators are trying to beat that out between the House and the Senate…and that’s going to dictate how Duke Energy and we deal with coal ash in the future.

This interview was conducted at the NARUC summer meetings in July 2014. To see Q&As with commissioners from other states, visit our interactive map. For a broader story about how state regulators from around the country are reacting to the EPA’s carbon emissions proposal, click here.

If you’re a commissioner and didn’t get to talk to Morning Consult at the conference, feel free to contact Emily Holden. We’d love to hear from other state officials and stakeholders too.

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