NCLCV’s fifth annual Green Tie Awards Dinner and celebration honored five environmental leaders in the General Assembly who are working to protect North Carolina’s remarkable natural resources and our quality of life. Gene Karpinski, President of the national League of Conservation Voters, was our keynote speaker, highlighting the importance of North Carolina on the national political radar for 2012. Gene brought an informative insider’s eye view of the critical fights going on in Washington and across the country for our environmental future.
As a fifth term representative and minority whip, Representative Rick Glazier has been an outstanding Defender of the Environment. In his leadership position, he has provided a consistent voice in support of environmental issues. He fully understands the role that a healthy environment plays in creating a better North Carolina for all our citizens. His perfect NCLCV legislative score over the past two years speaks to this commitment. In the last legislative session, he has worked on efforts ranging from the popular oil spill responsibility bill, to the less popular position of opposing measures to incentivize development without consideration for environmental destruction. He was a co-sponsor of NC SAVE$ legislation that would have created an independent energy efficiency administrator to promote energy efficiency. He continues to advocate for the right of future generations to experience a healthy environment this session by cosponsoring HB 840, which promotes Healthier and Greener Schools Act.
Rep. Phil Haire hails from western North Carolina with a commitment towards preserving the environment. He is forthright in his environmental considerations and works diligently to make sure environmental policies are given due consideration through an open door policy while in committee. Representative Haire scored a 100 on his NCLCV legislative scorecard during the 2010 session, supporting fair and reasonable environmental policies such as the need for river basin modeling, and renewable energy incentives to promote this growing industry within the state. This legislative session he is one of the primary sponsors of HB 671 which aims to beautify roads and clean up the countryside.
We commend Representative Rosa Gill as a Rising Star for environmental issues at the North Carolina Legislature. She is a dedicated public servant with regards to education and environment, understanding the interplay that a healthy environment can have on a strong education. As a new Representative, she is setting the bar high with a perfect score on the important environmental issues the House pursued last year. She was a co-sponsor on HB 1743 a successful effort to improve river basin modeling, recognizing that a fair and informed environmental policy is critical to managing the limited natural resources used by all North Carolinians. She also cosponsored HB 1804, the Energy Policy Council Green Energy Study, knowing we need more than rhetoric to inform policy decisions. We look forward to working with Representative Gill on key environmental issues for many years to come.
As a second term representative, Darren Jackson is an avid supporter of wise use of natural resources and we are proud to recognize him as a Rising Star. This session, he is the sponsor of HB 266, a measure to promote local energy efficiency in Wake County communities. He is also a cosponsor of HB 787 to ensure water efficiency in North Carolina. This is a Common Agenda priority for the current legislative session, and a policy that will serve all North Carolinians into the future as our state continues to grow. His support of common sense measures that benefit all North Carolinians is appreciated, and the NCLCV looks forward to his continued efforts on behalf of the environment and our citizens. We know he will be a leader on many issues we care about.
As a former children’s nurse, Representative Diane Parfitt has seen firsthand the effects an unhealthy environment can have on our health. This Rising Star’s knowledge of the need for a healthy environment has guided her in a long history of public service, leadership, and commitment to her community. She is also aware of the tremendous interplay between a healthy environment and a thriving economy, as she serves on many boards that promote business interests. She is proof that legislation can preserve our natural heritage, provide for our citizens, and promote a strong economy. As a first time representative she has helped to spearhead this effort to pursue fair policies that provide for all North Carolinians. We are proud to name her a Rising Star, and look forward to working with her on many good things down the road.