Gas Industry Backed HB 220 Takes Rights Away from NC Communities
RALEIGH, NC — Today the North Carolina General Assembly has passed HB220, which, if signed by Governor Cooper, will take away the rights of counties and cities to pass performance standards that cut carbon emissions from new buildings by using electrification.
To tackle climate change, many cities around the country are enacting new building codes that encourage the construction of new homes and buildings that use clean electricity instead of gas for heating and cooking. Electricity comes from a power grid that is rapidly transitioning to renewable energy supplied by wind and solar. Versions of HB 220 which also limit local control have been introduced in at least 14 states and are being pushed by gas utilities and the American Gas Association.
Following is reaction from Luis Martinez, Director of Southeast Energy for the Climate & Clean Energy Program at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):
“If we want to keep North Carolina on track to pursue innovative new policies to combat climate change, create clean energy jobs, and make our communities healthier, Governor Cooper must veto HB 220. North Carolina legislators need to be doing everything they can to transition the state off of dirty energy rather than preventing communities from making homes and buildings cleaner, healthier, and more energy efficient.
“Building electrification cuts indoor and outdoor pollution, avoids gas explosions, reduces the environmental damage done by drilling, and cuts our dependence on fossil fuels. When it comes to climate change, local governments must have the authority to pass policies that reflect their community’s needs. Instead, this bill ignores the toll climate change is having on North Carolinians, which will only get worse with inaction.”
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.