by Bob Geary
All week, environmentalists have peppered us with their appeals: Tell Gov. Perdue to veto that awful Senate Bill 781 ("return of the Hardison Amendment") and that other awful Senate Bill 709 ("drill, baby — or frack").
Well, today, they're back with big props for the Governor, who did indeed send both of these bad boys to the showers.
Here's their statement:
Environmental Coalition Praises Governor Perdue For Vetoing GOP-Backed Bills That Would Have Hurt North Carolina's Environment and Economy
Coalition includes: Clean Water for North Carolina, Environment North Carolina, Environmental Defense Fund, North Carolina Coastal Federation, NC Conservation Network, NC League of Conservation Voters, NC Sierra Club, NC Wildlife Federation, Southern Environmental Law Center, Western North Carolina Alliance and others.
Governor Perdue’s historic vetoes of S 781 and S 709 are to be commended. The 2011 session of the N.C. General Assembly has carried out a relentless assault on the environment, and Governor Perdue understands that. The legislature has attacked environmental safeguards, land conservation, financial incentives for the wise management of our natural heritage, and even environmental education. We applaud the Governor for standing up to these assaults.
S 781, Regulatory Reform Act of 2011, would have handcuffed state agencies from creating environmental protections for North Carolina’s air and water. By vetoing S 781, the Governor recognizes that North Carolinians overwhelmingly support keeping or strengthening N.C.’s environmental safeguards.
S 709, Energy Jobs Act, would have put North Carolina’s thriving coastal tourism economy at risk, in search of elusive offshore drilling revenues. The bill would have also pushed North Carolina to begin hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas, a dangerous process which contaminates groundwater and has caused devastation in other eastern states.
Further, taking a more proactive approach on alternative energy, Governor Perdue hassigned two new Executive Orders. Executive Orders 96 and 97 will put the appropriate panels and task forces in place to thoroughly study the State’s onshore and offshore energy resources. These entities will not be limited to focusing on conventional sources of energy but will also explore offshore wind energy and other forms of renewable energy, that have environmental benefits, utilize the State’s own resources, and will also result in positive economic benefits to the State. By signing these Executive Orders, Governor Perdue has offered the possibility of a more hopeful and beautiful future to the state of North Carolina, instead of rushing headlong into destructive practices.
Also, a copy of the letter submitted to the Governor asking for the veto of anti-environmental bills, which contains a complete listing of all 33 groups, can be found at: http://www.wral.com/asset/news/state/nccapitol/2011/06/21/9758002/Env_veto.PDF