Home National Politics To the South: North Carolinians Face a Bleaker Environmental Future.

To the South: North Carolinians Face a Bleaker Environmental Future.


Behold Article Fourteen, Section Five of the North Carolina state constitution.

Sec. 5. Conservation of natural resources.

It shall be the policy of this State to conserve and protect its lands and waters for the benefit

of all its citizenry, and to this end it shall be a proper function of the State of North Carolina

and its political subdivisions to acquire and preserve park, recreational, and scenic areas, to control and limit the pollution of our air and water, to control excessive noise, and in every other appropriate way to preserve as a part of the common heritage of this State its forests, wetlands, estuaries, beaches, historical sites, open lands, and places of beauty.

To accomplish the aforementioned public purposes, the State and its counties, cities and towns, and other units of local government may acquire by purchase or gift properties or interests in properties which shall, upon their special dedication to and acceptance by a law enacted by a vote of three-fifths of the members of each house of the General Assembly for those public purposes, constitute part of the ‘State Nature and Historic Preserve,’ and which shall not be used for other purposes except as authorized by law enacted by a vote of three-fifths of the members of each house of the General Assembly. The General Assembly shall prescribe by general law the conditions and procedures under which such properties or interests therein shall be dedicated for the aforementioned public purposes.

The bottom line is that it is a Constitutional duty for the powers that be to provide clean water and air for the citizens of NC. You would think that those in charge in NC would take seriously their Constitutional duties as indicated (in part) above. But the Tea-Publicans of North Carolina instead have taken a wrecking ball to their constitutional obligation to provide clean water and air for its citizens.  Instead, they have:

1. Assured dirtier drinking water by lifting the Jordan Lake rules, nine years in the making, and put them on hold. Jordan Lake is a drinking water source for Cary, Apex, Chatham County and other communities in the area. But the so-called representatives in the Raleigh capitol don’t give a fig. Jordan Lake has been polluted since the eighties. And in 2013, the state legislators want to go backwards even further because they do not want upstream communities to be responsible for the waste they pour into the watershed. (Too bad the EPA has been rendered ineffectual by too many years of Republican undermining. Had it not been, we would have a prayer of it moving in and helping us here.)

2. They barred the seeking of LEED certification for state government buildings.

3. They forbade any of the state’s scientists from studying the rising of sea levels. You have to be a Neanderthal to be so clearly anti-science and anti-progress.

4. They appropriated the water supply for the city of Asheville and took it out of Asheville’s control.

5. They moved ahead toward fracking,loading the Mining and Energy Commission with industry hacks.  No citizens or environmental interests need apply. Even the environmental seat on the MEC was handed to one with an interest in fracking. The lack of sunshine in the process is staggering. Fracking is probably why they won’t clean up Jordan Lake. They probably figure the frackers will ruin it anyway, even while they falsely profess that won’t happen. Meanwhile, citizens depending on well water are shafted. Most do knot realize that Cumnock shale  formation (to be fracked in a year or two once fracking commences) pierces the aquifer and thus all but certainly vulnerable to methane and other contamination.

6. Allowed the disposal of debris from demolition from manufacturing plants on the building’s premises.

7. Loosened the laws for landfills and shortened the distance between landfills and state game lands.

And those things are just what we know about. It will be weeks before we know everything they have been up to because many bills were tacked onto to bills on other subjects with no public hearings or sunlight of any kind. You have already heard some of the other mischief they ave been up to.  But moving backwards toward a dirty energy future and destroying the drinking water for hundreds of thousands is beyond the pale. Don’t North Carolina Virginia.


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