Dan McChina didn’t just outsource jobs to China… it’s worse. A blistering new report out this morning reveals how Dan McCready used a special interest group to rig the system and line his own pockets by lobbying for expensive new energy mandates that funneled millions of dollars to companies like his, while hosing North Carolina families.
32,239 North Carolinians lost their jobs, electric bills skyrocketed, and many more saw their family’s bottom line cut by $3,497 a year, but Dan McCready? He just got richer and richer.
In case you missed it…
House candidate’s nonprofit group pushed policies that aided his business interests while raising energy bills
July 3, 2019
Dan McCready, the Democratic congressional candidate in North Carolina, sat on the board of a nonprofit organization that lobbied for policies that benefited his solar energy business while allowing electric companies to raise consumer rates to offset state clean energy mandates.
Critics of the North Carolina renewable energy law claim the mandate could cost consumers up to $149 million per year in extra fees, while supporters of the law say it has created clean energy jobs and the actual consumer impact of the policy has been minimal so far.
The policy has subsidized the solar and renewable energy industry in North Carolina, including a solar investment fund co-founded by McCready in 2013 called Double Time Capital. McCready currently serves as managing partner in the company.
McCready, who is running against Republican Dan Bishop and has also been in talks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer about a potential 2020 Senate bid, served on the board of directors for the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association from January 2015 to December 2017.
The organization seeks to “drive policy and market development to create clean energy jobs economic opportunities and affordable energy that benefits North Carolina,” according to its website.
During McCready’s time on the board, the nonprofit spent over $450,000 on state lobbying and its affiliated trade association, the North Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance, contributed more than $125,000 to state candidates, according to North Carolina election and lobbying records.
In 2015, while McCready was on the board, the organization lobbied heavily against a bill that would have revised the North Carolina Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, a 2007 policy that requires private utility companies to supply 12.5% of electricity services from renewable or efficient energy sources by 2021.
The nonprofit said the proposed revision would “have a devastating impact on North Carolina’s clean energy economy, resulting in lost jobs and investments” and provide utility companies with a “regulated monopoly” over the energy industry. The proposal was killed in the state Senate before it could be put up to a vote in 2015.
The revised bill, which McCready’s nonprofit group opposed, would have frozen the state’s renewable energy mandate at 6% for utility companies, and capped consumer fees at $12 per year going forward.
Under the 2007 policy, utility companies were permitted to pass on the additional costs of using renewable energy sources to consumers by as much as $34 per household, $150 per commercial customer, and $1,000 per industrial customer per year by 2021.
A 2017 study by the Institute of Political Economy at the University of Utah found that the 2007 North Carolina policy would eventually “raise electricity prices significantly across all sectors, with the brunt of the costs falling upon the commercial sector.”
It also determined that there were “significant harmful effects on the economies of all states” that instituted such policies, including a 4% decline in personal income at an average loss of $3,479 per family, a 2.52% decline in the nonfarm employment rate, and a 7.85% increase in the state’s unemployment rate amounting to 32,239 lost jobs.
This policy heavily benefited companies like McCready’s solar farm investment fund Double Time Capital, by requiring all of the state’s utility companies to purchase a substantial percentage of their energy services from renewable sources.
A 2017 Fortune profile of McCready and Double Time Capital described the mandate as a key part of the company’s business model.
“Investors are eventually rewarded because state utilities are required by law to purchase a percentage of their power from independent energy producers, including solar farms, usually through fixed multi-year contracts,” reported Fortune.
A spokesperson for McCready defended the candidate’s energy policy record but declined to comment on McCready’s personal involvement in the non-profit’s lobbying activities.
“As a Marine and small business owner, Dan is proud of the role he played in making North Carolina the second in the nation for solar power, having helped build 36 solar farms that put 700 North Carolinians to work in good-paying jobs,” said Matt Fried, a McCready campaign spokesperson. “Today, over 30,000 North Carolina workers are employed in clean energy jobs of the future. While Dan was helping make North Carolina a jobs leader, State Senator Bishop was voting to raise taxes by over $200 million and keep healthcare costs high.”