Damn the environment! Full speed ahead!

Rep. John Torbett sees no reason to continue to consider the environmental impacts of major public projects.

With little discussion and no study of the potential consequences, state legislators are looking to gut an environmental protection law that has been on the books since 1971.

The law is meant to ensure that when state or local government agencies spend tax dollars on major projects, there is public input, all the possible impacts are considered and alternatives are evaluated.

The right-wing extremists continue to deny their right-wing extremism.

“This isn’t any right-wing, extremist attempt to do anything,” said [right-wing extremist] Rep. John Torbett, a Republican from Gaston County and a co-sponsor, who told the House Environment Committee that he was raised to be a conservationist.

Not to disparage those who raised Rep. Torbett, but I don't think the "conservationist" part of his raising took hold. Google tells us:

con·ser·va·tion·ist
ˌkänsərˈvāSHənəst/
noun
noun: conservationist; plural noun: conservationists

a person who advocates or acts for the protection and preservation of the environment and wildlife.

A conservationist you ain't John.

Of course, before gutting this law, they will carefully consider the ramifications and hear from all concerned parties, right? Hahahaha...um, NO.

Lawmakers had questions for officials from the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources. But staff members who attended a committee hearing said they hadn’t analyzed the bill.
...
The bill was caught up in the tidal wave of legislation that lawmakers are rushing through to meet an April 30 cutoff date. The committee discussed the issue for less than an hour in a meeting as three other bills were taken up.

The only opponent allowed to speak, [state Sierra Club director Molly] Diggins, who said she was also speaking for the Environmental Defense Fund and the N.C. Wildlife Federation, was given one minute and then cut off when she went over the allotted time.

Yes, Rep. Torbett, this most certainly is a right-wing extremist attempt to destroy the environment in favor of the almighty dollar.

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In case you were wondering

if North Carolina's chief environmental destroyer is co-sponsoring this bill, the answer is YES.

Besides Torbett, the bill sponsors are Rep. Chris Millis, a Republican representing Onslow and Pender counties, and Rep. Mike Hager, a Republican [and climate change denier] from Burke and Rutherford counties and the House majority leader [and North Carolina's chief environmental destroyer].

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Testimony I wasn't allowed to give

The only opponent allowed to speak, [state Sierra Club director Molly] Diggins, who said she was also speaking for the Environmental Defense Fund and the N.C. Wildlife Federation, was given one minute and then cut off when she went over the allotted time.

There needs to be a YouTube channel where representatives from different groups can upload the full testimony they were going to give in the state legislature when they're cut off or not allowed to speak at all. Promote the hell out of it on Twitter, Facebook and every other outlet as "Here's what we wanted to say that we weren't allowed to say by _your_ NC state legislature."

Liberal and progressive groups need to push back hard on social media and with news outlets on this - there's no place at the table and this is happening with just about every law these rabid dogs are pushing through the legislature like a meat grinder.

That's a great idea

It would not only get the needed testimony out there, it would also highlight the fact Republicans refused to hear it.

Obvious

It's really so obvious when you think about it. Organizations could work it into campaigns where they get voters to email the video to their representatives and use the videos as part of press kits for the media.

There could also be a summary website that links to all of the Censored Testimony of the Last Session. Individual candidates or organizations could do issue campaigns against committee chairs - "Here's what Representative X didn't want you to hear."

The Republicans are giving themselves the rope to hang themselves. All liberals and progressives have to do is kick the chair out from under them.