The Obama EPA, clearly the most extremist Environmental Protection Agency since its founding in the early 1970s, is proposing to tighten ozone standards to levels considered extreme and too costly even by North Carolina's environmentalist-controlled Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
You will remember that the EPA under George Bush tightened the ozone standard from 85 parts per billion (ppb) in ambient air to 75 ppb, a standard that went into effect just two years ago. That standard was considered by many to be overkill, though not, of course, by NC DENR.
The effect of that new standard (the current standard) was to take the state from almost complete compliance to noncompliance in two of the state's three metropolitan areas, Charlotte and the Triad. If the standard were ratcheted down again, the entire state would likely be out of compliance. That would mean a massive new cost burden on the state -- a cost burden so great that even DENR head Sheila Holman, someone who had probably never seen an air quality standard she thought was too tough, thinks might be overwhelming.
As quoted in The News & Observer, Holman first notes that "we're going to need additional pollution controls to achieve those lower standards." Then, sounding like she could be some right winger from the John Locke Foundation who (how does it go?) "cares more about costs than saving the planet," states that, "What is better for North Carolina's citizens at this point? Do you want to keep them working with health care, or potentially face more layoffs?"
Stop the presses. Can that be? An NC DENR official actually recognizing that environmental regulations cost jobs? Excuse me, but I think they've started skiing in hell. Apparently these new regulations could take NC's compliance costs from $70 million to $4.1 billion annually. At least that's what The News and Observer is saying. But wait -- don't DENR and Ms Hollman remember that if there is even one child whose asthma symptoms are reduced, it's all worth it -- even if that child's father is thrown out of work?
Andrew Large, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, has a letter in today's Financial Times on the wisdom of British austerity. He writes,
First, the reductions in gross national product from the UK public spending cuts are inevitable. The country was living beyond its means leading up to the crisis and “growth” on the back of ever increasing debt is illusory. In the end, the debt has either to be paid back (hence the cuts) or rolled over. And as the Irish, Greeks and many others before have found, eventually rollover can no longer be relied on.
Federal stimulus money has allowed North Carolina to live beyond its means the last two years. Now folks on the left who scoffed at deficit warnings during the budget debate are now forecasting a $4 billion structural deficit next year and want higher taxes to pay for it.
Stephen Goldsmith is deputy mayor of New York and former mayor of Indianapolis. He thinks we should first define the role of government and quotes former NY Gov. Mario Cuomo, "It is not a government's obligation to provide services, but to see that they are provided." Michelle Rhee said something similar in her time as head of Washington DC schools.
To quote Goldsmith: "The revenues that support government are limited and the equities problematic." Let's stop pretending otherwise.
In today's Pope Center piece Duke Cheston, who wrote for Carolina Review as a student at UNC, discusses the several conservative/libertarian student publications at colleges and universities in the state.
The students who write for them are not only having fun, but (whether they realize it or not) are also improving a skill badly lacking among many college graduates these days -- writing. Bravo!
I've already posted this to Twitter, but just to reiterate that the falling unemployment rate continues to hide the real employment story. We have 9,958 more people unemployed today; 111,530 fewer people working; and 101,572 fewer people in the labor force compared to January 2009. Between August and September alone, 13,186 people left the labor force.
Here is a sizzling Examiner piece by Timothy Carney. He's responding to statist writers who are eager to smear the libertarian Koch brothers (you see, they're funding the "hate" of the movement to stop the growth of government) and people (like Carney) who have helped to spread that message.
If you want to savor an intellectual demolition job, read Carney's counter-attack.
The idea that someone might oppose big government consistently and in principle is something that leftists seem incapable of grasping.
Munger says, “The North Carolina House will be close and remain Democratic and the Senate won’t be that close and will remain Democratic.”
“I don’t see anything like the same approval for Republicans. It was much higher in 1994. Congressional Republicans are at 30 percent and Congressional Democrats are at 15. Neither of them have people saying, ‘That’s what I want.’”
"Remember the conventional wisdom is people hate the Congress and love their Congressman"
As Binker points out, this runs against what most people are currently saying.
Yesterday, as I watched the fiasco with Juan Williams evolve, I thought, now Mr. Williams knows what it is like to be a white, Christian, conservative and tea party-attending American. For more years than I care to remember, we have been labeled bigots, uneducated, stupid, and most recently crazy. In the world of NPR listeners, even mentioning that you are a Bible-believing Christian -- let alone a Republican -- is greeted with with rolled eyes, a tolerant smile , and oftentimes scorn. The political correctness movement has dogged Americans of all beliefs, where a seemingly innocent remark can cause a firestorm of difficulties.
Several years ago, the Locke Foundation sponsored an event in Charlotte, featuring Juan Williams. He is a common-sense, dynamic speaker, but even more than that -- he is a nice guy. There were so many people waiting for him to sign his books and meet him that he delayed his flight to sign every book. His attitude when signing books was one of total graciousness.
One of my history professors at Meredith, Dr. Happer, used excerpts from Williams' excellent books and film documentary to present a clear picture of the civil rights movement. Although Juan Williams is an unapologetic liberal, he is a scholar and outstanding writer, especially when it comes to the civil rights movement. He is certainly no bigot!
Mr. Williams does not deserve NPR's wrath over his really innocent remark, but he now truly understands what many average Americans are experiencing and how conservatives are constantly demeaned by the intolerant, liberal left.
I am always amazed at how whenever some "denier" like myself expresses skepticism about global warming alarmism we are always referred to the "consensus" as represented by the IPCC. This is similar to referring someone to a panel on cancer and smoking that was established by the tobacco industry. The IPCC is the Intergovernmmental Panel on Climate Change--so it is an organization of representatives from governments. Some are scientists some are not and very few, about 20 percent according to radical alarmist and former Duke dean William Schlesinger, are climate
scientists. All of them are appointed by the governments that they represent and all of these governments would like to gain more control over their citizens. Given this reality, why in the world should we ever expect that the IPCC come to any conclusions other than those that would support larger governments with increased control over their populations? We shouldn't, and it never does.
Voters in 11 North Carolina counties will decide Nov. 2 whether they’re willing to let county commissioners raise their local sales-tax rates by 0.25 cents. John Locke Foundation researchers have raised concerns about these proposed sales-tax hikes. Michael Sanera discusses those concerns during the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio.
Joe Coletti will respond to comments from N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Brad Wilson about Blue Cross’ recent decision to refund $155 million to health insurance policy holders, while Terry Stoops will analyze a recent lawsuit filed by Durham County charter schools.
You’ll hear writer David Howard discuss key elements from the book Lost Rights, a chronicle of North Carolina’s efforts to recover its stolen Bill of Rights. Plus Douglas Minson of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute will outline some key links between Catholic thought and traditional Southern conservatism.
This week's Carolina Journal Online Friday interview features a conversation with Darrell Allison of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina about the state's recent victory in the Race to the Top federal education grant fund competition.
Terry Stoops' guest Daily Journal examines the education platforms of North Carolina's three U.S. Senate candidates.