State Politics

‘What is Larry’s nuanced take on climate change?’ John Oliver blasts NC GOP rep

John Oliver blasted North Carolina lawmakers on his talk show Sunday for recently proposed legislation he said freezes progress in the state. Oliver picked on Rep. Larry Pittman in particular.

“In North Carolina they’re considering a bill that would freeze progress that state has made towards renewable energy,” said Oliver on Last Week Tonight, a weekly political talk show he hosts on HBO. The part of the episode about North Carolina begins around the 19-minute mark.

That bill, House Bill 745, the “NC Energy Ratepayers Protection Act,” is a bill that would alter the state’s policy of promoting renewable energy and adds a section on decommissioning and reclaiming utility-scale solar projects.

A bill by the same name was defeated in the house in 2015.

One of the people who would have a vote on that legislation is Rep. Larry Pittman of Cabarrus County, who Oliver singled out, though Pittman is not a sponsor of the bill. Pittman could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

“So, what is Larry’s nuanced take on climate change?” Oliver asked before audio from a recording of the N.C. General Assembly on July 3, 2012 played:

“Our climate runs on a cycle,” Pittman says in the recording. “It goes up and it goes down and the lord designed it that way. And the main thing that causes global warming is the earth’s relationship to a big ball of gas that’s burning out there that we call the sun. And it is the height of hubris for human beings to think that we can have any effect on that.”

Oliver took the opportunity to blast not only Pittman, but President Donald Trump.

“No Larry, no,” Oliver said. “The height of hubris is not opposing climate change against God’s will. The height of hubris is, according to Wikipedia, 6-foot-2 and he just pulled us out of the Paris agreement.”

And Oliver called on North Carolinians and other voters to work to displace legislators like Pittman.

“So if your local reps resemble those guys in any way, you’re going to need to work together to get them out of office as soon as you can,” he said.

For more on House Bill 745, go to www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2017/Bills/House/PDF/H745v0.pdf.

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