Pro-polluter legislators got in one more slap at clean energy before they recess until next spring.
House Bill 220, the so-called “Choice of Energy” bill, would interfere with local governments’ ability to encourage a clean energy transition by blocking them from banning natural gas hookups in new construction. The bill would also restrict public access to utility infrastructure records, reducing transparency. We joined 22 other environmental and justice organizations on a letter opposing this bill and asking Gov. Roy Cooper to veto it. The bill is considered likely veto bait for Gov. Cooper, who rarely looks kindly on arbitrary limits on local governments’ authority to promote good policy moves.
Another pro-polluter bill, an anti-voting rights bill rammed through the legislature in its closing hours, has already received the governor’s veto stamp of disapproval. Senate Bill 326, the mis-named “Election Day Integrity Act,” would have required county boards of election to disregard ballots received after Election Day, even if they were mailed on a timely basis. Had that law been in effect in 2020, over 11,000 legally cast ballots would have been thrown in the trash.
“The legislature ironically named this bill ‘The Election Day Integrity Act’ when it actually does the opposite,” said Gov. Cooper in his veto message. “Election integrity means counting every legal vote, but this bill virtually guarantees that some will go uncounted.”