Rep. Wray’s Raleigh Report


In recent years, North Carolina lawmakers have started to think more about our state’s energy policies.

These efforts not only help us save money, but also help us conserve our resources and reduce our dependence on foreign oil and other energy sources from outside of our nation.

We made a number of important steps forward in this effort in this past session and I am pleased to share the highlights of our work with you.

Thank you as always for your interest in state government. If you have any questions about this information or anything else that I can help with, please contact me. I am always glad to be of service.

Energy

Legislation that will promote the use of renewable energy by extending the credit for constructing renewable fuel facilities and the credit for biodiesel producers has been ratified by the General Assembly and sent to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law (HB 1829). Among other things, the bill will also revise the tax credit for investing in renewable energy property and reinstate and expand the tax credit for a renewable energy property facility.

The sunset on some economic incentives would be extended under a bill that has been ratified by the General Assembly and sent to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law (HB 1973). These economic incentives include a credit for constructing renewable fuel facilities, a credit for small business employee health benefits, and a credit for biodiesel producers, among others. Once enacted, the legislation will also provide an enhanced incentive for jobs in high unemployment counties.

Environment

Certain environmental laws will be amended under a bill that has been ratified by the General Assembly and sent to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law (HB 1099). Among the changes are to (1) extend by one year the implementation of water system efficiency criteria for eligibility for state water infrastructure funds; (2) prohibit the use of high arsenic content glass beads when marking state or municipal roads or public vehicular areas; (3) modify the nutrient management strategy and adopt a sediments strategy for certain drinking water supply reservoirs; and (4) to protect and restore water quality and quantity in the Upper Neuse River Basin, Falls Lake, and other drinking water supply reservoirs by directing the environmental management commission to provide credit to local governments, land owners, and others who reduce water pollution in the Upper Neuse River Basin before permanent rules are adopted.

A bill that modifies the computer equipment recycling plan requirements and the associated fee on manufacturers has been ratified by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Perdue (SB 887 – S.L. 2010-67). The legislation also makes further substantive, clarifying, technical, and conforming changes to the laws governing the management of discarded computer equipment and discarded televisions, as recommended by the Environmental Review Commission. The law is intended to ensure that end-of-life computer equipment and televisions are responsibly recycled, to promote conservation, and to protect public health and the environment. It will also provide for a comprehensive and convenient system for recycling and reuse of certain electronic equipment would be established and responsibility would be shared among manufacturers, retailers, consumers and the state.

Legislation to address oil spill liability, response and preparedness has been ratified by the General Assembly and sent to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law (SB 836). Among other things, the legislation will: (1) clarify liability for damages caused by the discharge of natural gas, oil, or drilling waste into state coastal fishing waters or offshore waters; (2) provide for the review of information related to proposed offshore fossil fuel facilities to determine whether they are consistent with state guidelines for the coastal area; (3) direct the Coastal Resources Commission to review existing laws and regulations that pertain to offshore energy exploration and production in light of the recent British Petroleum (BP) accident; (4) direct the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety to immediately review and update the oil spill contingency plan to prepare the state in the event that oil discharged from the BP leak comes to the North Carolina coast; and (5) direct the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to review limitations on recovery by the state for damage to public resources and for the cost of oil or other hazardous substance cleanup.

Legislation that will establish a task force to develop a plan for the establishment and maintenance of a statewide water and wastewater infrastructure resource and funding database has been ratified by the General Assembly and sent to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law (HB 1746).

Notes

C.M.I. Enterprises Inc., a national supplier of automotive soft-trim materials, will locate a new manufacturing facility in Rutherford County. The company plans to move its Florida manufacturing plant to Rutherfordton, creating 53 jobs and investing $697,000 including lease payments. The project was made possible in part by a $33,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.

Twenty-three private businesses, public agencies, and public and private universities will receive $5.6 million to create 400 jobs and internships to give students hands-on experience and training in North Carolina’s energy economy, the North Carolina Energy Office announced today. The federal funds will be combined with other private and public dollars to create an internship program worth nearly $8.7 million.

Brunswick Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of recreational products and parent company of New Bern-based Hatteras Yachts, will expand in Craven County. The company plans to add 350 jobs over the next five years and invest $4.7 million. The expansion was made possible in part by state grants from the Job Development Investment Grant program and One North Carolina Fund.

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) will invest $38.4 million to build a warehouse and East Coast distribution center in Johnston County. The company plans to hire 187 workers to staff the facility over three years beginning in 2012. The project was made possible in part by a $600,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.

Meetings/Events

I plan to attend the following meetings/events:

  • Roanoke River Basin Advisory Committee, Oxford-July 26
  • Watermelon Festival, Murfreesboro-July 31
  • Please invite me to attend your county, city, community or civic, etc. meetings or events.

    As I’ve said many times before, I hope you will continue to let me know how you feel about the issues that are being debated by the North Carolina Legislature and the challenges you and your family are facing each day.

    By working together, we can make Northampton, Vance and Warren Counties and all regions of North Carolina a better place to live, work and raise a family.

    Please remember that you can listen to each day’s session, committee meetings and press conferences on the General Assembly’s website. Once on the site, select “Audio,” and then make your selection — House Chamber, Senate Chamber, Appropriations Committee Room or Press Conference Room.