The legislative good news from 2019 was all the bad stuff that was blocked, as NCLCV’s 2019 scorecard shows.
After years of battering from anti-environmental leadership run amok, North Carolina’s environment got something of a reprieve in the 2019 General Assembly session. While still short of a majority, increased numbers of pro-environment legislators teamed with advocates and a supportive governor to slam the brakes on many of the worst proposals.
Similar to our scorecard’s narrative, the newly released session-end report from the North Carolina Sierra Club chapter (PDF) details a number of the big green stories from the 2019 session. The green coalition forces blocked Duke Energy’s multi-year rate hike proposal, a wind energy ban extension, repeal of the landfill electronics ban, a bad billboards bill, higher registration fees on hybrid and electric vehicles, and other negative measures from becoming law. New appointments to the state Utilities Commission were also approved.
On the downside, we still don’t have adequate funding for clean water protection programs, and a legislative retreat on regulation of corporate hog farms remains a threat when legislators reconvene April 28 for the “short” 2020 session. That retreat is included in the budget which Gov. Cooper vetoed and which remains on the Senate calendar until enough opponents are absent. Tell your senator to hold strong and uphold Gov. Cooper’s veto of the anti-environment budget!