Monday, August 22, 2016 9:11 PM
Norm to Hold Town Hall Wed, Aug. 31
Wednesday, August 10, 2016 12:00 AM
Article By Derek Lacey, Hendersonville Times-News Staff Writer
August 10, 2016 at 4:30 a.m.
Photo by John Moriarty
Norm Bossert addressed a full
house Monday, August 8, at MountainTrue, answering members’ questions on his views on
contentious environmental issues and his approach to state environmental policy. You can read the entire article by following the link, but here are a few of his primary points:
On the question of climate change: it exists, that humans contribute
to it, and it is frightening. “The world is changing and
the world that we are passing on to our children has to change for the better;
it can’t continue to go the way it is or we won’t have much of a world to turn
over to our children,” he said.
Bossert said 10 of the
world’s warmest years on record have come in the last 12, and that glaciers are
melting at an unprecedented rate. A rising sea level is threatening coastal
towns that are starting to see more dramatic flooding with storms.
On the state’s encouragement of alternative energy through tax credits.
"Right now, our legislature has sort of turned its back on providing tax
credits and tax opportunities, if you will, to businesses that want to improve
the use of alternative energy, and that should concern us all.” It’s a bottom-line issue,
he said — people need jobs, and the solar and wind power industries offer
Repealing laws limiting the public’s access to information about fracking and
other environmental concerns: Bossert said he’s concerned about
people's property rights and added that they have a right to protect property
from eminent domain for mining or fracking, and a right to know what goes into
their land. While saying that fracking
is not a major concern in Western North Carolina, he's bothered by laws that
make it illegal to publish the chemicals used in fracking. “That’s not kosher
to me; I don’t think that’s fair.” He said people have raised concerns about
health risks from fracking chemicals in groundwater.
He also cited a “perfect
example of protecting industry at the expense of people’s health and
Duke Energy and the coal ash problem: Members of the state
legislature have also “gone out of their way to protect Duke,” he said,
allowing the company to stretch out how long it takes to clean up coal ash
pits, to not line coal ash pits and to protect the company from liability. “We should all love Duke
Energy,” he said. “I’m upset about coal ash, but let’s face it, it is a
powerful company and that powerful company provides power to all of us, and we
need to help them do it in a way that’s safe and clean and will protect our
children and generations of us to come.”
On offshore drilling off North Carolina’s coast: “I’m absolutely opposed to
offshore drilling,” Bossert said. “I look at what happened in the gulf, that
terrible accident there. Some people think, ‘Well the gulf’s all cleaned up and
it’s tidy and everything’s been improved.’ There is scant little evidence that
that’s true. What they’ve done is they’ve made the beaches pretty.”
As clean as the beaches
might look, he said, there’s ample evidence that oil continues to bubble up to
There are three reasons
he’s against offshore drilling: the possibility of an accident, that he doesn’t
want the state to have to go to the “terrible expense” of cleaning up that kind
of accident, and that the state should instead be exploring other ways of
delivering energy to its people.
“I know that some people
feel we need to be energy independent in our country and not do business with
other nations, particularly Saudi Arabia” and other nations that “aren’t always
our best friends in the world, and that’s certainly true,” he said.
But, “we are capable of
being energy independent right now,” he said. “We are producing everything we
need to produce in the United States, but Exxon and Shell and all these other
companies” will sell to other countries if they can make more money.
On funds for the
state Department of
Environmental Quality: Bossert said the department has been “decimated,” and
that he would like to see some of the state’s $1 billion budget surplus go to
DEQ. “I believe that if we get
to work and do things to protect our environment now, our planet is not past
rescuing,” he said, but “if we wait for other people to do it, like China or
North Korea or South Korea or (the) Japanese or anybody else, if we wait for
them, we deny ourselves the opportunity to start here and set the model for the
rest of the world.”
Bossert’s comments were
well-received by Jackie Hovey of Brevard, who said he sounded informed on the
“I think he seems very
knowledgeable; I think he’s done a lot of research,” she said. As an educator,
she said she hopes he has a broad view of the local and state environment, and
she appreciates his passion for protecting it.
Monday, August 8, 2016 10:54 AM
MountainTrue Hosts Meeting with Norm Bossert
Environmental advocacy group MountainTrue is
hosting a Meet & Greet with Norm
Bossert on Monday, August 8, as an opportunity for all to get to know Mr.
Bossert better and to share thoughts and concerns with him. The organization also desires to hear about his vision for protecting our natural spaces and resources.
The Meet and Greet will be held on Monday,
at 4:00 p.m. at our Southern
Regional Office, 611 N. Church Street, Suite 101 in Hendersonville. Light refreshments will be served.
meeting of Mountain True members and friends will be held to discuss ways to continue to
work and communicate with – as well as monitor – our legislators’ efforts, both
at home and in Raleigh, during the 2017 legislative session and beyond. If you
are interested in this longer-term work, please join them for this discussion on Monday,
August 15, at 3:30 p.m at their Southern Regional Office.
Saturday, July 2, 2016 12:00 AM
The debate over whether Tom Apodaca, a lone elected official who barely represents any of Asheville's residents, should override local and state representatives by imposing a new and controversial redistricting structure, ended late last night. It provided a rare opportunity for real leadership in the NC General Assembly. Thanks to Buncombe County Representatives Susan Fisher, John Ager, and Brian Turner, along with representatives of the House on both sides of the aisle who did the right thing!
Monday, June 27, 2016 12:00 AM
This fall, voters could be asked to weigh in on a very confusing and detrimental constitutional amendment. The NC Senate, with approval by the House during joint budget talks, wants you to vote to significantly reduce our state income tax and cap it there...hurting the state when it faces financial crises or natural disasters, limiting support for education and other needs, such as our courts and public safety. Doing so will also put a burden on middle and lower income folks, as funding will have to be made up in other ways. Taxation should be done wisely, for the benefit of all...not just the upper crust and corporations.