News: CJ Exclusives

JLF: Climate Group Ignores NC Law

Locke analyst: Climate-change commission hasn't followed mandate

A special N.C. global warming study group has ignored state law while pursuing predetermined policy goals, according to a new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report.

“Whether through negligence or willful omission, the N.C. Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change has made no significant attempt to pursue the mandated mission set out in a 2005 state law,” said Dr. Roy Cordato, JLF vice president for research and resident scholar.

The commission could consider interim recommendations during its next meeting, scheduled today in Raleigh. “Any recommendations the group makes now would be premature,” Cordato said. “Those recommendations would lack almost all underlying analysis required by law.”

Lawmakers ordered the study group to conduct an in-depth examination of scientific and economic questions linked to global climate change, Cordato said. “All of these requirements are quite sensible,” Cordato said. “If the commission followed its mandate, the ‘in-depth’ examination would provide a body of resources and analysis that would be indispensable to intelligent lawmaking.”

Instead of conducting the examination mandated by law, commission members are ignoring analysis of issues that would undermine their predetermined goals, Cordato said. “The co-chairs and a majority of commission members are forging ahead with policies meant to restrict carbon dioxide — or CO2 — emissions,” he said. “They’ve not conducted the scientific or economic analysis that would tell them whether North Carolina should pursue those policies.”

Some public statements from commission members could give the public the wrong idea about the group’s work, Cordato said.

“Commission co-chairman John Garrou recently assured a statewide radio audience that almost every proposal had undergone an economic analysis and that a number of those proposals would have a net economic benefit for the state,” Cordato said. “That’s not true. There has been no benefit/cost analysis of any policy under consideration.”

With more than a year left before its final report is due, the global climate change commission still has time to follow the law, Cordato said.

“The commission needs to take its mandate seriously,” he said. “At the present time, this result seems unlikely. To date, the commission appears to be ignoring the law to focus instead on building a case for CO2 reduction policies. With potentially very costly policies in the balance, North Carolina citizens deserve a fair, unbiased commission instead of an advocacy group.”