In a little-discussed executive order issued Jan. 7, Gov. Cooper imposed unrealistic electric vehicle sales quotas on the state’s auto industry, among other draconian diktats.

Under the guise of creating a “clean, equitable economy,” Cooper’s order declares that the state “will strive” to increase the total number of ZEV’s (zero-emission vehicles) to at least 1.25 million by 2030, and increase the sale of ZEVs so that 50% of in-state sales of new vehicles are zero-emission by 2030.

For some perspective, total ZEVs in North Carolina currently number about 30,000.

In short, Cooper’s order would require a 4,000% increase in the number of ZEVs – in just 8 years.

Where one man gets the power to impose quotas on a large private industry goes unexplained. Government officials dictating what private industries must produce and sell reaks of economic fascism and central planning.

The legal ramifications of Cooper’s order are in question, it is unclear if his order is legally binding in any way. However, the Cooper administration may use this order as a starting point to prompt the Department of Environmental Quality to impose “rules” to give teeth to Cooper’s order.

But even more sweeping is the provision outlining a goal to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions to at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030, and net zero emissions no later than 2050.

Fortunately, thanks largely to nuclear and natural gas energy, emissions in North Carolina have been falling significantly this century, and a 50% reduction by 2030 may occur regardless of Cooper’s orders.

Nevertheless, net zero emissions would be very difficult to achieve, and wildly expensive, hitting low-income households especially hard.

Attempts to control statewide emissions will affect virtually all industries across the state.

Other provisions in Cooper’s order include, but are not limited to:

  • Establishing an “environmental justice” lead in each cabinet agency, to serve as point person for “environmental justice efforts”
  • Cabinet agencies are encourages to “incorporate environmental justice and equity considerations and benefits into their work”
  • Tasking the Climate Council with creating a working group to “identify strategies for increasing workforce diversity in industries and occupations that are critical to understanding and addressing climate change.”
  • Creating a “clean energy youth apprenticeship program” tasked with helping to prepare college graduates for careers in the state’s clean energy economy