The 2013 legislative session exhibited an anti-regulatory agenda, endangering North Carolina’s natural beauty and our quality of life, including our health. Numerous bills were introduced that weakened pollution control, sought to rush through fracking, underfunded many of the state’s important environmental programs, and removed experienced members from critical oversight commissions and boards. Non-partisan science, which should be an important tool in environmental policy-making, was also ignored in many critical instances such as in regard to possible sea-level change and the evaluation of Jordan Lake water quality.
A poll released by NRDC on July 15, 2013 found that North Carolinians overwhelmingly opposed fracking, weakening landfill regulations, and overturning pollution limits upstream of Jordan Lake. Seventy-five percent said current environmental standards are “just right” or “too weak.” More than 70% of North Carolinians say they would have serious concerns about a legislator doing precisely what this General Assembly has done.
Do our legislators represent us or not? We all have a role of holding our legislators accountable. The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters publishes a Legislative Scorecard to help us do so. A record number of legislators, 82, almost half the total number of the General Assembly’s members, scored zero, meaning absolutely no pro-environmental votes. Governor McCrory’s score was a D-. His F in budget and appointments and D for water resources was balanced by a C in clean air and energy.
Please take the time to review the 2013 Legislative Scorecard to see how your legislators and the governor voted and stood on environmental issues.
It is important to communicate with your legislators. Twenty-seven scored 100% on pro-environment votes. They deserve our thanks. Let ones with a low score know what is important to you. You can find more information, talking points, and your legislators’ email addresses at nclcv.org/involved/scorecard2013. And please share with your friends.
Carrie Clark, Executive Director of NCLCV writes, “It doesn’t have to be this way. North Carolina has a proud history of making balanced decisions and respecting that clean air, clean water, and beautiful landscapes are precious resources that serve a vital role in attracting people and businesses to our great state. North Carolina has been a leader in smart environmental policy in the Southeast for years, and we can be again with strong leadership from our elected officials.”
The saddest thing would be if quality of life is diminished by our elected officials and you never said it mattered to you. Don’t let that happen.