agriculture, Environment

Senator Berger names environment/agriculture committee

Sen. Phil Berger named 17 lawmakers — 13 Republicans and four Democrats — to the committee on agricultural, environment and natural resources today. Brent Jackson and Andrew Brock are the best-known Republican names, having served on similar committees since the GOP took power in 2011. They have consistently sponsored or co-sponsored bills that would relax environmental rules.

There are three chairmen:

  • Bill Cook, who retired from Potomac Electric Power Co., a utility based in Maryland and Washington, D.C. A Republican, he represents eight counties in northeastern North Carolina; this is his third term in the Senate.
  •  Norman Sanderson, a Republican representing the coastal counties of Carteret, Craven and Pamlico. On his personal campaign website, he lists legalizing fracking and advocating for offshore oil and gas exploration among lawmakers’ legislative achievements. He is serving his third term in the Senate.
  •  Andy Wells, a Republican representing Alexander and Catawba counties in Western North Carolina, works in real estate. He’s in his second Senate term.

Here are the rest of the committee members, listed by party:

REPUBLICANS

Andrew Brock

Andrew Brock (Davie, Iredell, Rowan). Brock co-sponsored the Regulatory Reform Act of 2016, which contained several anti-environmental sections, including potential restrictions on wind energy facilities. The bill didn’t get out of conference committee.

Brent Jackson

Agribusinessman Brent Jackson (Duplin, Johnston, Sampson) has served on the Environmental Review Commission and oversight committees on natural resources. Most recently, he was the primary sponsor for several bills that would have weakened environmental regulations. He pushed through a law that made it easier for farms to win state grants to help cover the cost of propane or natural gas. Then, as The News & Observer reported, his farm applied for one of the grants, worth $925,000. He said he never intended to actually accept the money.

Tom McInnis (Anson, Richmond, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly), who co-sponsored the bipartisan Energy Investment Act, and the Farm Act. That bill, which became law, prioritized swine and poultry renewable energy projects over traditional sources, like solar and wind.

John Alexander Jr. (Wake), newcomer Danny Britt Jr. (Columbus and Robeson), Rick Horner (Johnston, Nash, Wilson); Wesley Meredith (Cumberland), first-term lawmaker Paul Newton (Cabarrus, Union),
Ron Rabin (Harnett, Johnston, Lee), Trudy Wade (Guilford), who was the primary sponsor on several bills to dilute environmental regulations.

DEMOCRATS

Angela Bryant

 

Angela Bryant (Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren, Wilson). She co-sponsored a bill last session, the Energy Investment Act, that would have given taxpayers who built, bought or leased a renewable energy property a credit equal to 35 percent of the cost of the property. It stalled in the finance committee.

 Jay Chaudhuri (Wake), who is in his first term; Erica Smith-Ingram, whose district includes eight counties in northeastern North Carolina. She co-sponsored a pro-renewable energy bill last session.

Mike Woodard

Mike Woodard (Caswell, Durham, Person), a longtime environmental advocate. He was the primary sponsor on a bill last session that opposed groundwater rules passed by the Mining and Energy Commission. Those rules related to fracking failed to address air quality issues, chemical disclosure requirements or forced pooling, which requires landowners who don’t want to lease their mineral rights to accept drilling anyway.

Check Also

Bill would require schools, day cares to test for lead in drinking water

A new bill would appropriate $8 million in ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

A "detainer" from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a request for local la [...]

Southside Ashpole Elementary School in Robeson County looks like most elementary schools in rural No [...]

President Donald Trump suffered a stinging policy setback last week when, notwithstanding the remark [...]

Fifty-one duplicate invoices. At least $20,000 in excess payments. And one nonprofit receiving a dis [...]

A new and promising push to raise North Carolina’s minimum wage gets underway today. Lawmakers and a [...]

The post Profiles in courage…and cowardice appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

It’s Sunshine Week, and things have never been gloomier for the newspaper industry. This year’s annu [...]

Gov. Roy Cooper is an enormously skilled politician with a top-flight staff and many years of experi [...]