About the Energy Policy Council

Governor Pat McCrory reconstituted the Energy Policy Council in 2014 to support an all-of-the-above energy strategy that promotes clean, reliable, and affordable energy resources for North Carolina homes and businesses. The council advises the governor and General Assembly about legislation and rulemaking that advance domestic energy exploration, protect the environment, and encourage economic development. Its responsibilities include developing a comprehensive energy policy that addresses present and future needs while moving North Carolina and the country toward energy indpendence. 

Energy Policy Council members have expertise in areas such as research and policy, the utility industry, environmental management, and diverse energy resources. The council also develops contingency and emergency plans to deal with possible shortages of energy to protect public health, safety and welfare, and makes recommendations about energy efficiency and conservation. The Energy Policy Council is an independent body staffed by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. 

Council Members

The council has 13 members, with the lieutenant governor designated as the chair and the Secretaries of Environmental Quality and Commerce designated as members: 

  • Lt. Governor Dan Forest, Chairman
  • Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality
  • Secretary John Skvarla, N.C. Department of Commerce
  • John Brodman, Carteret County: Pine Knoll Shores commissioner and retired Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Energy Policy in the U.S. Department of Energy (appointed by the governor)
  • George Baldwin, Piedmont Natural Gas, Mecklenburg County: a representative of an investor-owned natural gas public utility (appointed by the Speaker of the House) 
  • Paolo Carollo, Chemtex International, New Hanover County: a member with experience in the financing of the energy industry (appointed by the Senate President ProTempore) 
  • Scott Tew, Executive Director, Ingersoll Rand Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: an industrial energy consumer (appointed by the Speaker of the House) 
  • Carl L. Wilkins, Quanta Technology, Wake County: a member knowledgeable about alternative and renewable sources of energy (appointed by the Governor)
  • Michael T. VanWingerden, Metrolina Greenhouses, Mecklenburg County: a member with experience in trucking, rail or shipping (appointed by the Governor)
  • Vernon Cox, N.C. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Wake County: a member experienced in environmental management (appointed by the Speaker of the House)
  • Rob Caldwell, Duke Energy, Mecklenburg County: a member representing investor-owned electric utilities (appointed by the Senate President ProTempore)
  • Herb Eckerlin, professor of mechanical engineering at N.C. State University, Wake County: a member experienced in research, policy, and development (appointed by the Senate President Pro Tempore)
  • Walt Coleman, Associate General Counsel and Managing Attorney at CB&I, Mecklenburg County: a member experienced in energy policy (appointed by the Senate President Pro Tempore)
  • John Hardin, N.C. Department of Commerce, Wake County: committee designee for Secretary Skvarla
  • Stephen Walker, Office of the Lt. Governor, Wake County: committee designee for Lt. Governor Forest


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