Carolina Journal Weekly Report

March 13, 2009

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of March 13, 2009 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s Environmental Management Commission should reject plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. It's the wrong governing body, both legally and practically, to make “critical” decisions about regulating CO2, according to a new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report.

“CO2 regulation is not just an ordinary policy question — to make that argument would be like arguing that global warming is just another environmental issue," said report author Daren Bakst, JLF Legal and Regulatory Policy Analyst. “There are significant and unprecedented implications linked to regulating CO2.”

That’s why any decision about regulating CO2 emissions for the first time in state history belongs in the hands of the General Assembly, Bakst said. “The legislature is an elected, accountable body that is expected to make critical policy decisions,” he said. “The EMC is neither elected nor directly accountable to the public.”

Bakst is issuing his findings one day before the Environmental Management Commission meets again in Raleigh. The 19-member appointed commission is considering regulations that would mandate that “certain facilities” report CO2 emissions, Bakst said. “These regulations would lay the groundwork for far costlier CO2 regulations.”

CO2 emission regulations would affect everybody, Bakst said. “CO2 emissions are prevalent in almost every sector of the economy and in many personal actions we take — including the CO2 we exhale as we breathe,” he said. “Broad-based CO2 regulation, such as a cap-and-trade program, could have devastating impacts on the economy.”

News Features

CJ: Experts say one storm could collapse Beach Plan
RALEIGH — Insurance policyholders across the entire state should brace for troubled waters ahead. The reason? The North Carolina Beach Plan, the state levy that insures coastal homes across the state, is under-funded by more than $65 billion. Experts agree the plan could collapse under a surge of claims if a major hurricane hits the state’s seaboard.

CJ: Study: Tar heel state average in freedom
RALEIGH — A new report from the libertarian Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranks North Carolina 23rd in the nation on public policies that increase or ensure economic and personal freedom. The study, titled “Freedom in the 50 States,” tracked policies in areas such as gun control, homeschool regulation, income taxation, and government spending.

Dell cuts, job loss a double whammy
WINSTON-SALEM — North Carolina’s economy was hit with a one-two punch yesterday. About the same time that the N.C. Employment Security Commission reported that the state’s jobless rate hit a 26-year high of 9.7 percent in January, Dell Inc. confirmed that it had made its first major job cut at its plant in Forsyth County.

Mom will fight order against home schooling
RALEIGH — Home-school groups and conservatives across the country are infuriated by a Wake County judge’s declaration that he will make a North Raleigh mother stop teaching her children at home and send them to public schools. As part of a continuing divorce case, Wake District Court Judge Ned Mangum said last Friday that it would be in the “best interests” of Venessa Mills’ three children to go to public school this fall.

NC health plan bill would raise premiums
RALEIGH — The General Assembly moved closer Tuesday to getting a $250 million cash injection for the state employee health insurance program by the end of the month when a Senate panel agreed to make wide-ranging changes to the plan. The one-time funds were attached to a bill that also includes premium increases for families, financial incentives to stop smoking and lose weight and a new prescription drug program for people with chronic illness.

Upcoming Events

Friday, March 13, 2009 at 3 p.m.
Sandhills Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest John Hood
How To Get Involved With Your Local Freedom Club

Monday, March 16, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Noon
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Sally C. Pipes
The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Piedmont Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest John Hood
How To Get Involved With Your Local Freedom Club

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 6 p.m.
Southeastern Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest John Hood
How To Get Involved With Your Local Freedom Club

Thursday, April 02, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Down East Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest John Hood
How To Get Involved With Your Local Freedom Club

John Locke Foundation Carolina Journal Online
The Locker Room Carolina Journal Radio

Capital Quotes

I don’t see the rate peaking until next year, probably at near 14 percent for the entire state.
— N.C. State economist Mike Walden, talking to WRAL about North Carolina’s unemployment rate. The state’s unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in January, already the highest in 25 years.

It certainly is a real good sound bite.
— Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, commenting to the Associated Press on Gov. Bev Perdue’s pledged during her State of the State speech that “will increase per-pupil spending in our public schools.” How the governor proposes to do so given the state’s budget situation remains to be seen.

We need the money.
— House Minority Leader Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on legislative proposals to transfer funds from Golden LEAF to help close the state’s budget deficit. Attempts in previous years to take money from Golden LEAF have failed, but the state never faced this severe of a budget deficit.

Whoever decides to run, it’ll be a race, and it will be a competitive race.
— Rep. Heath Shuler, D-11th, as quoted by the Associated Press, in announcing that he won’t run next year for the Senate seat currently held by Richard Burr.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Roy Cordato explains Keynesian economics and refute its purported benefits; House Minority Leader Paul Stam and Sen. Bob Rucho discuss the implications of the Employee Free Choice Act; Bruce Clark of Capital Associated Industries expresses the concern of business owners over the so-called “card-check” bill; New York University economist William Easterly explains why freedom is more helpful to poor countries than foreign aid; and North Carolina History Project director Troy Kickler discusses the mission of the State of Our Constitution lecture series.

NC Spin

This week on NC Spin…
Join moderator Tom Campbell for another week of political discussion and debate on the most intelligent television talk show in the state. Topics this week: Governor Perdue’s State of the State Address; a new Supreme Court ruling that could change legislative districts; whether it is time to abolish the death penalty; and whether nonprofits should be able to spend their endowments. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; political consultant Brad Crone; and Cash Michaels, columnist for the Wilmington Journal.

At Issue

This week on At Issue…
Watch At Issue, hosted by Kim Genardo, Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Also available on the web at


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