North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature remains an obstacle to big changes, so the administration is looking for work-arounds and short-term wins.
What a difference three years can make in the politics of climate change in North Carolina, a state that not long ago took a sharp lurch to the right.
After replacing a Republican who questioned whether climate change was caused by human activities, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has testified before Congress on North Carolina’s sizable climate challenges and unveiled a draft clean energy plan designed to put the state on a path toward eliminating carbon emissions from the power sector by mid-century.
His effort to grapple with global warming faces the cold reality of needing support in North Carolina’s Republican legislature, however. It’s a significant challenge that has clean-energy advocates and state officials looking for work-arounds and short-term wins. This week, for example, state regulators put pressure on North Carolina’s largest utility to weigh the governor’s greenhouse gas reduction goals in its future energy plans.