FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2021
Andrew Whelan, CleanAIRE NC, (919) 408-7031, [email protected]
NC Legislature Limits Local Governments’ Ability to Fight Climate Change, Restricts Public Transparency
RALEIGH, N.C. – Yesterday the North Carolina General Assembly passed HB 220, also known as the ‘Choice of Energy Service’ Act. Despite its misleading name, the bill actually restricts local governments from choosing preferred energy types for their communities.
The bill, reportedly authored by the American Gas Association, would block local governments from enacting policies that protect their environment and fight climate. The legislation limits the authority of a city or county government to restrict methane/natural gas lines to neighborhoods or buildings.
Additional amendments in the bill restrict the ability of an individual or organization from requesting public records for certain types of development projects, including for energy infrastructure projects.
“City and county governments have been the vanguard of fighting climate change. This bill is a swipe at their ability to protect their constituencies,” said June Blotnick, executive director of CleanAIRE NC. “Climate change is a problem that requires all the tools we have in our tool box. The Governor should veto this bill and ensure North Carolina continues to have access to those tools.”
Blotnick continues: “This bill was written by Washington lobbyists, with the goal of serving fossil fuel companies interests. If signed into law, this measure may limit public officials’ abilities to curb carbon emissions. The bill also guts transparency by stripping away the peoples’ right to make public records requests.”
CleanAIRE NC is a statewide nonprofit organization advocating for the health of all North Carolinians by pursuing equitable and collaborative solutions that address climate change and air pollution.