RALEIGH – Bowing to new and overwhelming evidence from the scientific community and the powerful impacts of recent catastrophic weather events, North Carolina conservative political leaders announced today that they are willing to accept the reality of sea-level rise, while at the same time proposing a plan to deal with it.
“It does appear that some coastal tidal patterns have started to shift slightly,” said State Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger. “And regardless of whether this is the result of direct intervention by the Almighty or, as I believe, over-regulation of offshore drilling which has prevented ocean floors from subsiding to their appropriate levels, it does appear it’s time to act.”
Berger went on to say that he and colleague House Speaker Thom Tillis will introduce legislation during the 2013 session of the General Assembly to be entitled the “Personal Water-Level Mitigation Choice and Responsibility Act.” Under the multi-faceted proposal, individual taxpayers would, among other things, be able to establish tax-free savings accounts in which they would be able to shelter income for future use in dealing with coastal storms and rising seas.
“Say you want to put stilts under your house or convert your car into an amphib vehicle,” said Tillis, “under our Choice and Responsibility Act, you would be able to take charge of your own plan for dealing with Mother Nature without any meddlesome bureaucrats telling you what to do.”
Tillis said the proposal would also include new incentives for energy companies to burn more fossil fuels (what Tillis called “energy byproducts”) in an effort to boil off excess ocean water.
“Instead of the same old collectivist, big government proposals, we want to promote new, innovative and entrepreneurial solutions,” said the Mecklenburg county lawmaker. “Under our proposal, we will work closely with the coal industry to launch a new high-tech solution known as the No Ocean-water Allowed Here project or ‘NOAH’ for short.”
According to Tillis and Berger, the NOAH project contemplates a new public-private partnership in which the state would help establish a rail network that will permit the rapid delivery of vast quantities of coal directly to the coast. The new law will also cede large tracts of public beach directly to Duke Energy so that it can establish a network of devices known as “marine super-evaporators.” These huge boilers will be used to burn massive amounts of coal in order to convert billions of gallons of sea water into steam that will, it is hoped, fall harmlessly as rain in drought-plagued regions.
“It’s really a win-win,” said Tillis. “Duke will also be able to use the coal ash produced by the super-evaporators as free material for beach re-nourishment in and around homes that are willing to pay for it.”
When asked for his response to the proposal, Governor-elect Pat McCrory said that he was still studying all of the details but that he was was optimistic that it would win swift approval. “We need to unleash the private sector to solve our problems,” said the former Charlotte mayor. “As long as the proposal includes tax cuts for our largest corporate citizens, I’ll probably be for it.”
McCrory did say that he was hopeful the proposal could be amended to include an idea developed by his staff under which some of the steam produced by the super-evaporators would be piped back to the Piedmont region of the state for use in natural gas fracking.
McCrory this part of the plan would be called by the HAR-DI-HAR, which stands for “Hot Air Recovered and Directed Inland for Healthy Acquifer Reduction.” He said that this initiative would be headed up by environmental experts at the John Locke Foundation and Pope-Civitas Institute. “No one in the state has more experience in producing and spreading hot air,” said the Governor-elect.
(Photo courtesy of Think Progress.)