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CDC recommends vaccinated people mask up indoors; searing testimony in first hearing on Jan. 6 insurrection; man accused of killing 8, mostly women of Asian descent, in Atlanta area spa pleads guilty to 4 deaths; mental health takes center stage at Olympics with unexpected exit of superstar gymnast Biles. Note offensive but cogent language in first cut.

NC Groups Sign On to Renewed National Focus on Curbing Climate Change


Wednesday, May 5, 2021   

RALEIGH, N.C. - The Biden administration has its sights set on creating more jobs, with an ambitious plan centered on clean energy and climate policy.

In North Carolina, environmental groups are urging leaders in Congress to pass an economic recovery plan that would bring those benefits to the state. Dan Crawford, director of government relations for the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, said the administration's moves to rejoin the Paris Agreement and recent global Summit on Climate set the right tone.

"That's really refreshing to have that type of leadership in office," he said, "and it's good to have that type of leadership in North Carolina as well, with Gov. (Roy) Cooper, who's partnering with the Biden administration to push these crucial efforts forward."

Biden has outlined a goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. Dozens of North Carolina elected officials are among more than 1,200 across the country to sign a letter asking Congress to "seize a once-in-a-generation opportunity."

North Carolina's coast is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and Crawford pointed out that weather forecasters already are predicting a turbulent 2021 hurricane season.

"We've had two 500-year storms in three years," he said. "It's time to start caring for what's happening with our climate, and this is a really big step that the Biden administration is pushing forward."

Crawford noted that the state also faces serious infrastructure challenges in the coming decades. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, around 9% of bridges in North Carolina are structurally deficient - and Crawford added that the state's drinking-water needs are even greater.

"North Carolina's drinking-water infrastructure will require almost a $17 billion investment over the next 20 years," he said. "We need to start putting a down payment on that now."

Almost six in 10 voters say they support multi-trillion-dollar economic stimulus legislation that prioritizes investments in clean-energy infrastructure, according to polling from Climate Nexus, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.

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