“This bill throws out the best available science.”
The bill, known as the Coastal Management Policies bill, requires the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission to create regulations that anticipate rising sea levels based on historical trends.
The bill passed in the N.C. Senate by a 35-12 margin two weeks ago. But the House unanimously voted to reject it last Tuesday.
After speaking in front of the legislative building, the protesters visited Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret, who is the primary sponsor of the bill.
McElraft said the original study was flawed because it only used one model and ignores historical data, even though she said the panel was asked to incorporate multiple models and historical data. She said the bill will commission another study into the matter.
“We needed to direct the state agencies not to use the 39 inches that the science panel came up with, because we don’t feel that was good science,” she said.
McElraft, who said she doesn’t believe climate change is caused by humans, said it was difficult to use the study to predict climate change.
“In 1974, the alarmists were talking about the ice age coming in,” she said. “What has happened, has the ice age come in?”
She said most of her constituents wanted the bill to protect them from flood insurance increases and possible loss of property rights.
“The short term interests of industry will eclipse the voice of the people and the common good,” Marienau said.
Wilmington resident Nancy Sharp said the legislature was prioritizing short term profit for developers at the expense of her community’s safety.
“If you build on lands that will be comprised by sea rise, there is going to be devastation eventually and it’s going to be us, the taxpayers to foot the bill,” she said.
Marienau said the House rejecting the bill was a reaction to public disapproval of the bill.
The protest was sponsored by two climate change groups — 350.org and Forecast the Facts.
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