Jackson & Brock hate trees

Continuing their war on the environment and war on cities all in one fell swoop, the extremist loons of the NCGA, led by Brent Jackson & Andrew Brock, now propose to do away with all types of tree protection.

State legislators may act this summer to bar cities, towns and counties from imposing tree-protection rules on private property owners, if a study committee gets its way.

The language on tree-protection laws is direct, barring both cities and counties from adopting or enforcing any ordinance or regulation that governs “the removal, replacement and preservation of trees on private property within its jurisdiction.”

Of course, Guvnor McCharlotte is caught in the middle again, because he liked to at least pretend to be a moderate in his previous elected job.

The bill could create a political dilemma for Gov. Pat McCrory, a former mayor of Charlotte who in the past has claimed credit for helping pass that city’s tree-protection rules.
McCrory, a Republican, in 2007 told a U.S. congressional subcommittee those rules were a highlight of Charlotte’s attempts to protect the environment.

There is no rational basis for this bill. It's the height of stupidity. Protecting trees, as even Guvnor McRarelycorrect points out, is good for the environment AND for economic development.

Of course the GOP is protecting their corporate darlings, in this case developers, as they usually do, but we can think of no other explanation for this bill other than:

  • Brock & Jackson want to demonstrate their power and punish North Carolina's cities (that's where the Democrats mostly live, you know); and
  • Jackson & Brock want to push the boundaries of extremism even further.

Sadly, their stupid political games have real, harmful consequences for this state, some of which will surely be irreparable. But they don't give a shit; they're pleasing their ALEC-corporate masters.

If this one goes through, though, some of their right-wing base will be cursing Jackson & Brock. People like trees in their neighborhoods, and even the "because freedom!" nuts tend to like the idea that their neighbors can't just bulldoze a forest on a whim.

Comments

How extreme can they go?

This is another of those bills that seems to be mostly a test of the level of extremism the right-wing nut jobs can get away with. It's one of the "because we can" bills that they surely know people will wail about.

But there's a heckuva lot of support in the NCGA for sticking it to cities, and there are plenty of bullies in the NC Senate. We wouldn't be surprised to see this bill pass at least the Senate.

And that would move the line that marks "too extreme even for North Carolina". So far that line sits just south of establishing a state religion and printing our own state money. We would have thought that telling all cities in North Carolina that they can't regulate development would be too extreme even for the Tillisberger army.

We'll see.

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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

I hope this passes

because the blowback from cities and towns will be spectacular.

Mr Developer: We request approval of our special use permit as is.

City: Fuck off. Unless and until you voluntarily agree to conditions, your special use permit is going no where.

Mr. Developer: You can't do that.

City: Oh yeah? There are a thousand trivial ways we can deny your permit and make your life a living hell. You won't be able to even breathe without our permission.

Mr. Developer: We'll see about that. I'll appeal to Raleigh.

City: You do that asshole. And 20 years from now when you've gone through all your appeals and court challenges, we'll find another way to deny your permit. The clowns in Raleigh can't make laws fast enough to keep up with us.

Mr. Developer: God dammit. Where do I sign? I hereby voluntarily agree to whatever tree requests you may have.

City: You realize these requests aren't requirements, right? We can't force you to do anything involving trees. Period.

Mr. Devoloper: Yes. I understand. And I really wish the clowns in Raleigh had stayed out of this. Your new "voluntary" plan is costing me a fortune that I wouldn't have had to spend before.

You're more optimistic

than we are. We worry about the conversation in which the developer informs the city that there are no trees left to protect, as he clear-cut them yesterday, because Brock & Jackson said he could and the city couldn't do anything about it, and now could they please get on with the approval process because there's nothing to discuss about trees.

P.S. the article also notes that the bill also would take away cities' rights to regulate the use of fertilizer, which happens to be the primary thing produced on Jones & Blount streets.

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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

City:

There are thousands of ways we can put a stake through the heart of any project anywhere at any time. All it takes is playing hardball, and if you fuck with us, that's the only kind of ball you're going to see.