Republicans in North Carolina’s General Assembly continue to act like kids in the sandbox when it comes to wasting the public’s time standing in front of potentially good legislation.
Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law this week a measure that promotes solar energy in the state, and with it, he issued an executive order encouraging the development of wind power. Cooper felt obliged to do that because Republicans put in the solar energy law an 18-month moratorium on wind projects. It’s an utterly ridiculous maneuver that’s a bow to right-wing ideologues who wanted to beat back wind energy projects because Democrats wanted them and they’re a good, clean form of energy production.
GOP allies couldn’t make the case that the wind turbines that produce the energy were a threat to farms, because many farmers liked the idea of making some money by leasing land for the wind projects. So Sen. Harry Brown of Jacksonville, the GOP majority leader in his chamber (an insignificant post, since President pro-tem Phil Berger rules like a monarch) pushed a last-minute moratorium based on the need to make sure wind farms won’t interfere with military bases’ training.
Obviously, the wind projects wouldn’t be approved through the permit process if they were any threat to military exercises, and if Brown has checked lately, he’d know that the military has right much clout in Raleigh, and in Washington. His maneuver was nothing short of absurd. So it’s good that Cooper issued his order, and let’s hope Republicans don’t hurt the economic potential of having wind farms in the state. Not that it would be surprising for GOP lawmakers to hurt a business interest over nonsensical politics. Does HB2 ring a bell?