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REPS Repeal Bill Voted Down in House Committee, Opposition is Bipartisan

 

For Immediate Release

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Release : H 298 Clears Its First Hurdle, Business and Public Interests Take a Backseat

 

For Immediate Release

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N.C. Senate approves two major environmental repeals

The Associated Press - RALEIGH — The North Carolina Senate passed two major environmental rollbacks Wednesday ahead of a deadline over objections from Democratic lawmakers. The bills would repeal rules for managing pollutants in Jordan Lake and a host of restrictions on new jetties along the coast that critics say can shift damage to neighboring properties. Bills that don't require tax changes or spending and fail to clear at least one chamber by Thursday night are essentially dead through the end of the session in 2014.
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Crossover Week: Jordan Lake, Terminal Groins, and more!

It’s a busy week at the General Assembly as the crossover deadline approaches this Thursday. As legislators try to push their bills through by the deadline, there are a number of bills that will have a huge impact on our air, water, and natural places. A bill that would roll back the Jordan Lake Rules, S515, will come up in the Senate on Wednesday or Thursday. The bill is a move in the wrong direction for the conservation of Lake Jordan. Cleanup efforts at the lake have already been delayed after legislative battles in 2010 and 2012, and the passage of this bill would only further delay efforts. Additionally, this bill seeks to focus on the treatment of pollution, rather than controlling the sources of pollution. This isn’t just a delay tactic that kicks the can down the road, but it completely repeals the Jordan Lake Rules and puts nothing in its place other than a legislative study. It could take years to develop a new set of rules, while current efforts to clean up the lake are halted.
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NC Sierra Club Statement on Effort to Repeal Jordan Lake Rules

RALEIGH - Earlier today the Senate Agriculture, Environment & Natural Resources Committee approved a PCS for S 515 that repeals rules intended to clean up Jordan Lake, a drinking water supply for more than 300,000 people in the Triangle. Upon the committee’s actions, Molly Diggins, state director of the NC Sierra Club, issued the following statement: “This is the first time that the legislature has proposed repealing measures to clean up a troubled major drinking water source, with nothing to put in its place other than a commission of legislators to come up with a new plan.” “There seems to be some magical thinking that legislators will find a technology that will clean up the lake without responsible parties upstream having to control their pollution into the lake.”
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NC rising to top of list of states for solar investment

North Carolina has quietly become one of most interesting states for solar investment in the nation, according to a panel of experts speaking Thursday at the Energy Inc. Summit at the Charlotte Convention Center. Darren Van’t Hof, director of renewable-energy investments of US Bancorp, says North Carolina is the top state his bank is investing in. He says US Bancorp Community Development Corp.*, based in St. Louis, has $80 million to $100 million of investment approved for N.C. solar projects.
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Hager's bill to end NC's renewables policy refuses to die

By John Murawski Meet the bill with nine lives – and twice as many votes cast against it. Lawmakers on Wednesday could once again attempt to end a state renewables policy whose proponents say has elevated North Carolina to the nation’s fifth-largest developer of solar farms. Last week, lawmakers defeated the measure 18-13 in a House committee. At the time proponents of solar power and renewables celebrated a rare victory. On Tuesday, Rep. Mike Hager, the bill’s sponsor, revived it for another vote. Even by the standards of North Carolina’s partisan legislature, the push to undo the 6-year-old energy policy marks unusual determination to salvage a struggling bill. For their part, advocates of solar power and renewables are now bracing for the potential of esoteric parliamentary maneuvers that are used on rare occasion to advance controversial bills for last-minute votes.
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'Reform' Bill Could Have Sweeping Effects

by Kirk Ross RALEIGH -- The Senate wrapped up work last week leaving a host of stakeholders in environmental policy with a serious homework assignment: Try to decipher the implications of a revised omnibus bill that would make major changes to the state’s environmental regulations. Senate Bill 612, yet another “regulatory reform act,” follows similarly named bills of the previous two sessions, and like those bills offers an array of changes to environmental policy and regulations.
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DENR’s new mission takes wrong course

By Scot Faulkner and Jonathan Riehl There was a time when Republicans established the Environmental Protection Agency and considered stewardship of the environment a cornerstone of assuring America’s future. Those days seem very far away as Republicans, including Gov. Pat McCrory, are increasingly rejecting environmental protection and empirical science. Prior to McCrory’s becoming governor, North Carolina had a solid reputation for environmental stewardship grounded in constructive engagement between two co-equal state agencies. The Department of Commerce is the welcome mat and advocate for new and expanding businesses. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is the enforcer of the National Environmental Protection Act and the advocate for those affected by the externalities of new and expanding businesses. Each agency has a noble mission that benefits the state. Pure environmentalism can hamper the creation of economic opportunity and job growth. Pure economic development can permanently scar a landscape, cause harm to people’s health and eradicate qualities of life and community that attract business.
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North Carolina Could Repeal Renewable Energy Policy

In North Carolina, repeal of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) has passed out of committee and could be voted on as soon as this week (House Bill 298). Ironically, this comes just as the state is trumpeting its renewable energy growth at the 10th annual Sustainable Energy Conference in Raleigh, sponsored by the N.C. Department of Commerce, says Tom Gray in the American Wind Energy Association's blog. "If H298 passes, it will virtually eliminate the market for new renewable energy projects, since a free market does not exist where clean energy can compete head to head with the utilities. House Bill 298 signals the rules are changing and clean energy investments are no longer welcome here," said Betsy McCorkle of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association at a press conference.
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