In an interview with Carolina Business Review, Chamber CEO, Ted Pitts, and Director at Brady Energy Services ,Phil Kirk, joined the panel to talk infrasctructure and energy solutions. Here are some highlights:
Chamber CEO Ted Pitts, when asked about the tipping point at the lack of infrastructure and transportation money said, “I think we’re there. This is the second year coming up of a two-year legislative session, the Chamber of Commerce used to have eight or ten items that they put forward for the General Assembly to address. This past year, we put forward two; workforce development and infrastructure. You see folks talking about it; the Senate Republican Caucus has issued now a plan, which I think is important to get them on board, on understanding that we have to do something.“
He added, “We’re hopeful that this year, even though it’s an election year, is the year that the General Assembly is finally going to act.”
Phil Kirk from Brady Energy Services was asked if he believed there is a bright future for toll roads.
Kirk said, “Particularly in the Charlotte and the Raleigh areas, we’re choking on traffic. We now have over a million people living in White County, and we couldn’t have built part of the infrastructure without toll roads, so I think toll roads are here to stay, and I think they’ll be expanded, particularly in the metropolitan areas.”
ENERGY SOLUTIONS FOR A GLOBAL ECONOMY
When asked what he believed was the biggest hurdle that electric utilities must overcome to have a profitable future, Rogers stated, “I think you’re seeing new technologies on the supply side, like solar and wind playing an increasing role. You see new technologies that are going to lead to productivity gains and the use of electricity, so demand is going to be flattish to declining, and over the next 20 to 35 years, virtually every power plant in the country, except hydro, will be retired and replaced. The big question is, what will be built?”
Rogers also said that, “Nuclear is key. All those people that are serious about climate change need to be serious about nuclear. In the U.S, 20 percent of the electricity comes from nuclear. That represents 64 percent of the carbon-free electricity. The investment that’s being made in South Carolina is going to be good for the people, but not just to the next year, or 5 years, but over the next 40 years.”
Pitts asked Rogers about the possible impact that providing energy and power to those around the world who are without it would have on the rest of the world. Rogers stated that, “It’s going to lift people out of poverty. It’s going to give people an opportunity for the economies.” Rogers added that, “it’s going to really stimulate the growth of those economies, if they can lift them out, they get better health care, they get better education, more efficient farming. All of that is going to translate into greater markets for U.S. companies, greater opportunities for people around the world. I think it’s a great thing if we can find a way to do that.”
The full interview airs November 12 at 9:30 p.m. on ETV. Click here to see the full interview online.