State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: North Carolina Tries To Outlaw Climate Change Data

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: North Carolina Tries To Outlaw Climate Change Data

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BUT CAN THEY DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE HUMIDITY? Speaking of North Carolina, who knew the worst thing about global warming is that it might be bad for business? As the Los Angeles Times reports, things started when a Tar Heel State commission reported that ongoing climate change could cause North Carolina's sea levels to rise 39 inches by 2100. That threw coastal developers into a tizzy, convinced the information would lead to regulations limiting building in potentially impacted areas. The solution: HB 819, a bill that would bar the state from using the offensive climate change data. That drew howls of derision from wags like comedian Stephen Colbert, who accused the state of trying to make climate change illegal. Nature appears not to be cooperating, however. New data from the US Geological Survey shows the North Carolina coast is still experiencing the fastest sea level rise in the world. It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

Rising Sea Levels and Beach Erosion

ENERGY: The NORTH CARLINA House and Senate give final approval to SB 820, which would legalize the natural gas drilling process hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." The bill is now with Gov. Bev Perdue (D) for review (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL). • HAWAII Gov. Neal Abercrombie (D) signs SB 2785, which establishes a regulatory framework for new electricity infrastructure, including an undersea cable that would transmit electricity between the Aloha State's islands (PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS [HONOLULU]).

ENVIRONMENT: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upholds an Environmental Protection Agency finding that heat-trapping gases from industry and vehicles endanger public health. The court declared the agency was "unambiguously correct" that the federal Clean Air Act requires the government to impose limits once it has determined that emissions are causing harm. Companies from the chemical industry, joined by 14 states, including TEXAS and VIRGINIA, had sued to block the agency from imposing the limits. Fifteen other states, including CALIFORNIA, WASHINGTON and MASSACHUSETTS, had sued in defense of the rules. VIRGINIA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) said he would appeal the ruling (NEW YORK TIMES). • HAWAII Gov. Neal Abercrombie (D) signs HB 2296, which bars the purchase, sale, transportation and delivery of any item containing bear bile or gallbladders (ASSOCIATED PRESS). • Also in HAWAII, Gov. Abercrombie signs SB 3001, which bars the intentional possession, inter-island transportation and release of wild or feral deer (ASSOCIATED PRESS). • NEW HAMPSHIRE Gov. John Lynch (D) allows HB 1490 to become law without his signature. The bill allows the Granite State to stay in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative - a regional cap-and-trade program intended to lower greenhouse gas emissions - unless at least two other Northeastern states withdraw first (CONCORD MONITOR).

GOVERNORS IN BRIEF: The Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear appeals from ALABAMA and FLORIDA over how much water GEORGIA is allowed to take from the Peach State's Lake Lanier reservoir, which provides water for all three states. Officials had asked the justices to review a lower court decision that allowed GEORGIA to use Lake Lanier to supplement the drinking water supply of metro Atlanta. The decision is the latest in a decades-long feud among the three states over Lanier's water (BIRMINGHAM NEWS).

BUSINESS: The NEW JERSEY Assembly approves AB 575, which would bar Garden State businesses from treating waste water created by the natural gas mining process of hydraulic fracturing, which entails injecting chemically treated water deep into the ground to tap pockets of natural gas. Critics say the process, known as "fracking," contaminates groundwater supplies. It is now with Gov. Chris Christie (R) for review (STAR-LEDGER [NEWARK]).

- Compiled by RICH EHISEN

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