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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. Read More

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Governor-elect Pat McCrory will make significant decisions on energy issues, especially in year one of his term. These choices will shape our energy future and have a direct impact on North Carolinians and our environment. But given McCrory’s 29 years at Duke Energy, will he show predilection for the energy industry or will he ensure full deliberation and consider what’s good for all of us? Read More

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The Fayetteville Observer got it right over the weekend with this editorial:

“After all the ethical disasters the General Assembly has seen in the past few years, House Speaker Thom Tillis should have the definition of conflict on the tip of his tongue.

He doesn’t. In fact, he may be clueless.

How else could he have named Sanford businessman Ray Covington to the new Energy and Mining Commission? That’s the body that will come up with guidelines and safety regulations for natural-gas extraction in North Carolina by the hydraulic-fracturing method – fracking….”

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.

 

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It was one of the many great ironies associated with controversy surrounding the issue of fracking in North Carolina that so-called conservatives opposed efforts during the 2012 legislative session to include stronger protections for landowners.

As you may recall, it was mostly conservative supporters of the fracking industry who opposed efforts to include language in fracking legislation that would have made it easier for private landowners to avoid the phenomenon known as “forced pooling” (i.e. the notion that landowners can be forced to enter into leases to sell their gas rights). Mind you, many of these same people are some of the most ardent supporters of “property rights” when it comes to things like municipal annexation.

Now comes word from Pennsylvania of a battle in which the fracking industry is butting up against another traditionally conservative ideal: local control. Read More

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The North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club and several other state and national environmental organizations are teaming up for a “Stop the Frack Attack” rally and march on the west lawn of the Capitol in Washington, DC on Saturday July 28.

With all the attention fracking has been receiving in North Carolina and around the nation, organizers are expecting a large and energetic turnout — even by Washington standards.

The Sierra Club will be organizing free transportation (with food provided) to and from the event with a van leaving from the Triangle the morning of the 28th and returning that night.

For those interested in traveling click here to learn more.