|Defeat Anti-Immigrant Legislation in NC *** Join Us: Free Immigration Seminar – Saturday, June 8 in Durham ***
A controversial bill under consideration in the North Carolina House (HB 786) would grant limited driving privileges to undocumented immigrants in NC while also imposing an Arizona-style racial profiling law and other harsh provisions for people suspected of being in the country illegally. While we believe the state should offer full driver’s licenses to all qualified drivers, regardless of immigration status, we cannot support any measure that would require immigrants to surrender basic rights in order to gain driving privileges. Click here to take action.
Recently, House Bill 786 was amended so that undocumented immigrants wishing to obtain a “restricted driving permit” have to show that they have pre-paid one year of car insurance, which statistics show costs over $1,000 on average in North Carolina. Few undocumented families are going to be able to pay that amount of money up front. They will also face a myriad of other hurdles, including passing a strict criminal background check, providing fingerprints and admitting their undocumented status, proving their presence in North Carolina for a year, and paying fees for the permit itself which could cost up to hundreds of dollars.
July 2012 NC20 Newsletter from Internet retrieved March 15, 2013.
Despite all odds, the push by NC 20 to demand responsible science concerning Sea Level Rise succeeded. Rep. Pat McElraft and Rep. Bill Cook started with H 819 in the House dealing with property setbacks, and passed the ball to Sen. Harry Brown after the House passed it. He got the Sea Level Rise provisions inserted and rallied his Senatorial colleagues. After some impressive leadership, the bill was passed by a 35 – 12 vote. Sen. David Rouzer, Wayne and Johnston Counties, gave a particularly rousing address in support during the Senate debate. The bill went back to the House for concurrence and there was met with a tidal wave of criticism from environmental groups. As strange as it may be, it seemed they wanted a huge rise in sea level, although their motives were never clearly articulated. Almost humorously, NC 20 Board Members were verbally assaulted by opponents of the Bill wanting to know who the big money developers were behind our efforts. They couldn’t believe we had no paid employees and about $8,000 in the bank.
Given the outcry which greeted the revised bill, the House voted to send it to a conference committee. The committee consisted of Reps. McElraft, Ruth Samuelson, from Charlotte, Tim Spear, Mike Hager, and Frank Iler. On the senate side were: Sens. Sen. David Rouzer, Chair, Sen. Jean Preston, Sen. Harry Brown, Sen. Thom Goolsby, and Stan White. The final bill was modified from an outright ban on unscientific forecasting to a four year suspension with a study, but it accomplished the purpose. It prohibited the unscientific speculation that had infected the whole SLR process and required diverse scientific sources be consulted. After a spirited debate, the bill passed 40 – 1 in the Senate and 68-46 in the House. We do not have the room to summarize all of the comments, but here are a few highlights: Of course, Pat McElraft led the way as the sponsor, and it was apparent she had mastered the subject. She not uncharacteristically spoke with great passion. A number of Piedmont legislators were solid in their commitment to science over speculation as well. From our corner of the world, Rep. George Cleveland of Onslow County delivered his comments with the professorial demeanor he is known for. He had stopped the use of the CRC’s 39” projection in flood mapping by getting the Secretaries of Crime Control and Public Safety and of Commerce to a meeting several months ago with NC 20. That resulted in a reduction in the projected SLR for flood mapping purposes from 39” to 8”, a difference of 1500 square miles in land impacted. Frank Iler spoke forcefully as well and showed he had read our letters carefully. He quickly corrected another Representative who had asserted that melting icebergs raised the water level. (they don’t – Archimedes c.250 B.C.)
In the Senate, Sen. Harry Brown masterfully maneuvered the Bill to a near –unanimous conclusion. As Senate Majority Leader, he is now the most senior of the eastern leaders in the legislature, and his standing with the other Senators has been demonstrated beyond question. One must wonder what the future holds.
What now? Even prior to the passage of this bill, the CRC had made some serious revisions. But, while they removed numerical mandates, their latest revision continues to state that: “Sea level rise … is a ubiquitous threat that gradually intensifies…” Read between the lines.
NC 20 provided numerous scientific studies showing that despite 80 years of manmade CO2 increase, there is no acceleration in Sea Level Rise. Here are a few quotes:
Douglas (1992), Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR), analyzed worldwide
gauges and found a deceleration from 1905-1985
• Jevrejeva et al (2006), JGR, found a deceleration for 20th Century
• Holgate (2007), Geophysical Research Letters, found a deceleration
• Church et al (2004), Journal of Climate, found no increase in the rate of
sea level rise from 1950-2000
• Woodworth (2006), Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, said
Not According to the Peer Reviewed Literature
US Army Corps of Engineers® Engineer Research and Development Center
“… No definitive long-term acceleration of sea level has been identified
using 20th Century data alone”
• Woodworth et al (2009), International Journal of Climatology, note
“… little evidence has been found in individual gauge records for an
ongoing positive acceleration of the sort suggested for the 20th
Century by climate models” (From a presentation by Dr. Robert Dean, Professor Emeritus, U. Florida, to NC 20, October 7, 2011.)
NC 20 is grateful to all the legislators, both Eastern and from the rest of the State, who had the courage to stand up to the intense pressure from the lobbyists who blanketed the halls of Jones Street on a daily basis.
As a coastal state with an estimated 4,800 kilometers of inland sound coastline and almost 500 kilometers of Atlantic Ocean coastline along the barrier islands, North Carolina is especially vulnerable to sea-level rise. The Outer Banks are barrier islands. Such islands can migrate in a landward direction as sea levels rise. The post-storm shoreline retreat (erosion) seen here in Nags Head is part of that migration process. In North Carolina, large sandbags are used as seawalls to prevent shoreline retreat, but are damaging to the recreational value of the beach, provide only temporary protection and must constantly be maintained. More…