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Columnist: Gov. Cooper has taken 1st step toward cap and trade in NC

When we think of Leftist energy policy, a lot of us think of federal policy — the Green New Deal and the Biden version of the Green New Deal. But a new Forbes column by Patrick Gleason points out that Gov. Cooper has signed on to help advance a regional climate deal for northeastern and mid-Atlantic states. The initiative Cooper is helping to advance, without actually signing onto the pact itself, is called the Transportation & Climate Initiative.

TCI proponents set out hoping to get 13 northeastern and mid-Atlantic states to sign onto a regional cap & trade regime for transportation emissions that is projected to increase the price of gas by more than 30 cents per gallon in participating states. After years of lobbying and cajoling, however, only Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia agreed to launch the TCI program. 

So how do Cooper and North Carolina fit in?

Also surprising was the fact North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) signed his state onto a statement signed by eight states that couldn’t commit to imposing TCI at this juncture, but would commit “to work together on the development of the details of the regional program while pursuing state-specific initiatives to reduce emissions and provide clean transportation solutions.”

This action taken by Governor Cooper is the first step toward implementing cap & trade in North Carolina. By signing North Carolina onto that TCI accompanying statement but not the TCI Memorandum of Understanding, Governor Cooper has made a commitment to collaborate closely with the northeastern states that are beginning to implement this regional cap & trade program in order “to shape the program to reflect the evolving needs of the region and welcome other jurisdictions to join.” 

Gleason points out that the TCI equals a hike in gas prices, and that’s why even some Democrat governors balked at joining. Since our governor is now on board with helping to advance this plan, it’s a concrete step toward higher gas prices for North Carolinians.

Now back to our president and his energy views. Here’s what’s posted at joebiden.com:

Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face. It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan: (1) the United States urgently needs to embrace greater ambition on an epic scale to meet the scope of this challenge, and (2) our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected.

Yes, Joe Biden supports the Green New Deal. And yes, Joe Biden and Roy Cooper support energy policies that will make it more expensive to live and work. That’s bad for North Carolinians.

Donna Martinez / Senior Writer and Editor

Donna came to the John Locke Foundation in January 2003 after freelance writing for Carolina Journal and contributing to projects for the North Carolina Education Alliance. He...