The North Carolina Senate does not like the Obama administration’s sweeping new rule to limit carbon emissions from power plants. The Senate voted Wednesday to restrict state compliance with the law and to sue the administration.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, along with many Republican governors, opposes the carbon rule taking effect and has said he plans a lawsuit. The Senate bill requires one.
In the meantime, it orders state environment officials not to take the first step of the rule, developing a plan for cutting carbon emissions by about a third.
Senator Mike Woodard, a Caswell County Democrat, argued that will mean ceding state control.
“This amendment all but ensures that the federal government will impose its plan on North Carolina,” said Woodard. “Why do we want the federal government’s design to be placed on us?”
The bill does let the state develop a plan to increase efficiency of coal plants, but not to replace them with natural gas or renewable energy, as the rule would likely require.
The bill now goes back to the House, which voted for state officials to create a plan.