May 17, 2022

Andrew Whelan, CleanAIRE NC, (919) 408-7031, [email protected]

CleanAIRE NC Statement on Governor Cooper’s FY22-23 Budget, titled “Building on Success”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Last week, Governor Roy Cooper released his $29.3 billion 2022-23 Budget, which included numerous provisions to protect the environment and continue the transition to a sustainable clean energy economy. CleanAIRE NC Executive Director June Blotnick said of the budget: “Our state has begun to put the policies in place to reduce air emissions and enable a clean energy transition. Over the past few years, we have seen numerous announcements from companies that intend on utilizing those policies and are investing in our state. As the title of his budget suggests, it is a clear statement from the Governor that he intends to continue to build on the momentum we’ve seen over the past few years.”

Specifically, the budget requests $15 million to increase residential access to clean energy and improve energy efficiency, and help families that are struggling to pay their power bills; it also requests $10 million for schools to increase clean energy access, make energy efficiency improvements, invest in clean transportation, and match federal funding for related programs.

Additionally, the budget makes investments in historically underrepresented areas that have suffered the brunt of environmental injustice. The Governor requested $18 million for the Swine Floodplain Buyout program, to provide for the remediation and removal of swine waste lagoons sited in flood-prone areas. CleanAIRE NC Environmental Justice Program Manager Daisha Williams said of the provision: “As climate change turns 100-year floods into once-a-decade floods, we must be more and more cognizant of the pollution sources in floodplains. If included in the final budget, this will be an investment that will help farmers and communities begin to manage those issues properly.”

The Governor’s budget also requests funding for the Commerce Department to more closely collaborate with the Department of Environmental Quality on issues relating to permitting, as well as a one-time $250,000 investment in enhanced community engagement. Williams said of the request: “This is the kind of proactive request that can give rural or economically disadvantaged communities a voice in decisions that affect their environment, their health, and their livelihoods.” Regarding the budget as a whole, Williams said: “Underserved communities risk being left behind in the economic transition that is now underway. This budget will help ensure that doesn’t happen.”


CleanAIRE NC is a statewide, 501c3 nonprofit organization advocating for the health of all North Carolinians by pursuing equitable and collaborative solutions that address climate change and air pollution.

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