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A Southern Governor’s Climate and Clean Energy Plan Aims for Zero Emissions

The state’s Republican-controlled legislature remains an obstacle to big changes, so the administration is looking for work-arounds and short-term wins.

In the past three years, North Carolina has been through two major hurricanes and the remnants of a third and seen devastating flooding. Gov. Roy Cooper is proposing a clean energy plan for the state to reduce its climate impact. (Credit: Office of the Governor) Click to Enlarge.

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.

Read more at A Southern Governor’s Climate and Clean Energy Plan Aims for Zero Emissions

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