Over the last decade North Carolina has led the way among southern states in advancing a more extreme environmentalist agenda.
Bills passed include the Clean Smokestacks Bill, the establishment of the Legislative Commission on Climate Change, and Senate Bill 3, which caps the amount of electricity that can be generated from lower-cost fuels and places a limit on electricity usage.
SB 3 has all of the negative effects of a cap-and-trade program similar to those that the Republican Party at the national level have opposed.
All of this legislation was passed with overwhelming support from Republicans in both houses of the state legislature.
The new Republican majority should put environmental policy into the context of the ideas of liberty, personal responsibility, and economic growth that the party ran on last fall.
Among other things, it should repeal SB3.
Also, no new environmental regulation or tax should be considered unless there is a real and identifiable problem to be solved.
Any new regulation or tax must actually solve or ameliorate the problem in a scientifically verifiable way.
It should be demonstrated that the benefits associated with solving or ameliorating an environmental problem outweigh the costs imposed by the regulation or tax.