• John Locke Update

    Energy Crossroads, Part 2: Reliable, Cost-Effective Alternatives to Cooper’s Disastrous Plan

    posted September 22, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    By favoring wind and solar generation with battery storage to the exclusion of viable, dependable sources, Gov. Cooper's "Clean Energy Plan" would be extremely expensive, costing consumers an average of $411 per year more for electricity. It would cost $123.86 per metric ton of CO2 emissions reduced and take up more land than the state's three largest counties combined. Alternatives provided for Locke by energy researcher Jordan McGillis showed that emissions reductions could be achieved via more natural gas or nuclear facilities at much less expense to consumers and with a miniscule environmental footprint.
  • John Locke Update

    Energy Crossroads, Part 1: Cooper’s Plan Is Unnecessary and Fraught with Costs to Consumers and the Environment

    posted September 21, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    Cooper's "Clean Energy Plan" has a very definite preference for extremely expensive, intermittent, and unreliable electricity resources, to the exclusion of viable, dependable resources. A report for Locke by energy researcher Jordan McGillis showed that Duke Energy's scenario most closely aligned with Cooper's plan would level enormous costs to consumers. Such reliance on wind and solar generation and battery storage carries many hidden and unconsidered environmental, supply-chain, ecological, and land-use costs.
  • John Locke Update

    Redistricting Dilemmas: All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men Cannot Put Caldwell County Back Together Again

    posted September 20, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Caldwell County leaders do not want the county to be split in redistricting, and the county has political clout. Despite that, Caldwell County is certainly going to be split between state Senate districts and may be split between state House districts. Caldwell County’s redistricting predicament demonstrates how the constraints of law and geography limit how legislators can draw districts.
  • John Locke Update

    What “County Clusters” Mean for North Carolina’s Redistricting Process

    posted September 10, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    North Carolina’s unique county clustering process is a way of balancing constitutional requirements of keeping counties whole and having equal populations of legislative districts. The county clustering process is simple in principle but can be complex in application. The whole county provision of the North Carolina State Constitution and redistricting criteria adopted by the General Assembly substantially influence how districts can be drawn within county clusters.
  • John Locke Update

    Partisan Interest Group Seeks to Dominate Redistricting Process

    posted September 1, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Democrats and progressive groups successful and "surreptitiously" injected their supporters into the redistricting process to influence the redistricting to favor Democrats in California. All On The Line, an organization affiliated with Eric Holder's National Democratic Redistricting Committee, is seeking to replicate what Democrats did in California here in North Carolina. All On The Line's endgame is to help Holder in redistricting lawsuits against North Carolina.
  • John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 3: “Mays” and “Shall Nots”

    posted August 25, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Political and racial data are appropriately banned from consideration when legislators draw district maps. Preventing "double bunking" of incumbents can prevent map drawers from following redistricting best practices such as maximizing compactness and respecting political boundaries. "Community of interest" is a nebulous concept and often less helpful to drawing good districts than many believe it to be.
  • John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 2: Geography

    posted August 24, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Congressional districts must be equal in population, but legislators have some flexibility regarding population equality when drawing state legislative districts. Districts must be contiguous, and the rules are precise about what counts as contiguous. Districts are required to be compact, but North Carolina's geography often makes that impossible.
  • John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 1: Political Boundaries

    posted August 23, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    North Carolina's constitution and related court cases severely limit how counties can be divided when forming state legislative districts. Precincts sometimes must be split when forming districts but doing so is disruptive for election officials and voters and should be avoided. It is often not practical to follow municipal boundaries when drawing district maps.
  • John Locke Update

    The House Budget Had Good Ideas for Opticians, and the Final Budget Can, Too

    posted August 17, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    An earlier version of the House budget would have relaxed some of the restrictions North Carolina places on its licensed opticians. Those reforms would have followed some of the John Locke Foundation's principles for reforming occupational licensing, including universal license recognition as well as moving the state in the right direction toward a least-cost-state standard. The reforms were not in the final House budget, but they could be restored in the final conference report.
  • John Locke Update

    The Perils of Multimember Legislative Districts

    posted August 10, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Multimember districts for the North Carolina General Assembly were once common but were struck down over how they diluted minority voting strength. Multimember districts disconnect representatives from their constituents. Multimember districts force voters to consider many more candidates, making ballots more confusing.

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