Carolina Journal Radio

Carolina Journal Radio No. 769: Pipeline fund generates controversy

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Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration ended months of speculation by approving a key water-quality permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. While complaints from environmental activists grabbed headlines, Cooper also raised eyebrows by announcing the creation of a new fund totaling nearly $58 million. Cooper says the money can fund more than just mitigation of the pipeline’s environmental impact. The funds might also pay for economic development and renewable energy projects. Critics contend this money represents a “slush fund.” Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, analyzes the pipeline’s latest developments. Much has changed in N.C. politics during the past 19 years. The “NC SPIN” program has documented those changes for television viewers across the state. Now, after celebrating the milestone of its 1,000th episode, “NC SPIN” has moved to a new home on UNC public television. Program creator and moderator Tom Campbell shares insights from following the state’s political developments for the past two decades. A 2017 data breach has prompted policy changes at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. During a recent legislative review of those changes, Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, questioned HHS Secretary Mandy Cohen about accountability. Driverless cars are on their way to N.C. highways. The state Department of Transportation is devoting some attention now to issues that must be addressed to accommodate those cars. Kevin Lacy, state traffic engineer, outlined some key questions N.C. DOT is considering as it ponders a future with driverless cars, also known as “autonomous vehicles.” President Trump wants new tariffs on foreign-made washing machines, solar panels, and other items. These tariffs would amount to a tax on American consumers. Roy Cordato, John Locke Foundation senior economist, explains why these tariffs represent a bad approach to public policy.