• Research Report

    Time for a change: New legislature should realign its positions on environmental issues

    posted February 14, 2011 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Over the last decade, North Carolina has led the way among southern states in advancing a more extreme environmentalist agenda. The General Assembly's new Republican majority should start anew on environmental issues. Legislators should put environmental policy into the context of the ideas of liberty, personal responsibility, and economic growth that the party ran on last fall.
  • Research Report

    Junk Science on Soot: Flawed Study Can’t Justify Clean Smokestacks Bill

    posted March 20, 2002 by Dr. Kay Jones
    A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association alleges a significant increase in lung cancer risk for those exposed to high-levels of particulate matter, commonly called soot. In North Carolina, the news media and others have cited the study to boost support for the proposed Clean Smokestacks bill. But according to expert analysis, the study is so flawed that it should have been rejected by the journal. Moreover, it does not establish a case for new regulation.
  • Research Report

    The Smokestacks Tax: Who Pays, and How Much, With New Regulations

    posted March 20, 2002 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    To date, debate over the proposed Clean Smokestacks bill has focused primarily on the purported air-quality benefits, which would be negligible. Little attention has been paid to the cost, which could be substantial given North Carolina's already high electricity and tax rates compared to its neighbors'. This study estimates the impact on such institutions as school districts and manufacturers. The higher prices and lost jobs must be weighed against any potential benefits.
  • Research Report

    Foggy Facts on Smog: NC Ozone Levels Aren’t Bad or Getting Worse

    posted March 6, 2002 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Flawed studies and ignorance about North Carolina air quality have given lawmakers and the general public an inaccurate picture of trends in ground-level ozone, or "smog," in some cases exaggerating public exposure by a factor of 10. This study reexamines air-quality data from monitors across the state, concluding that exposure to dangerous ozone levels is surprisingly rare - and is dropping even without passage of the proposed "Clean Smokestacks" legislation.
  • Research Report

    State of Emergency: Time to Rework Economic Development Policy

    posted February 17, 2002 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    North Carolina's approach to economic development policy has failed, with the state’s high tax burden, lack of industrial diversity, and hostility to entrepreneurial effort contributing to a painful decline in employment and competitiveness. Public policymakers should rethink their reliance on central-planning models and schemes to subsidize specific businesses or regions. Instead, the state should lower taxes and avoid costly regulatory mistakes like the "Clean Smokestacks" bill.
  • Research Report

    The Study that Wasn’t: Touted Report Says Little About Smokestacks Bill

    posted August 19, 2001
    Supporters of the so-called "Clean Smokestacks" bill now under consideration by the state legislature are citing a study they claim proves that the legislation would save the lives of a thousand North Carolinians annually. In fact, the study says no such thing. Its subject matter bears little relationship to the bill's likely impact on North Carolina, which would be limited because most power-plant emissions affecting the state's air quality originate outside North Carolina.
  • Research Report

    The Truth on Global Warming: Smokestacks Bill Could Lead to Costly Regulations

    posted July 4, 2001 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Embedded within "clean smokestacks" legislation now moving through the General Assembly is the creation of a new commission to develop state policies to combat global warming. But the scientific issues involved are complex and unsettled. If North Carolina were to try to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions on its own, it would have a trivial impact on global climate but destroy tens of thousands of jobs, particularly in the state's faltering manufacturing sector.

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