Like everyone else, high-energy prices affect my family, my neighbors, and my constituents and continue to hurt working families. Particularly during the winter months, heating oil, natural and LP gas take a tremendous bite out of family budgets. I am proud to say that during the 2013 Session, we put forth much effort on keeping energy prices low. Part of the comprehensive tax reform package included capping the gas tax which will provide some relief for motorists at the fuel pumps. Additionally, the removal of the hidden franchise tax embedded in folks electricity bills will also lead to a decrease in energy rates.
-I support the decrease of energy prices by using all the tools at our disposal; however, I only support doing so with mindfulness towards the environment.
-I also strongly support conservation efforts and hope that every North Carolinian will commit to do all they can to use our resources wisely.
-I support clean coal and nuclear technology.
-I support wind power.
However, I do not think that the government should extend, beyond what is reasonable, help to industries without reservation. It is not the job of the government to prop up industries beyond their infant phase that cannot sustain themselves.
Finally, I see the strain that energy prices put on our families and believe that we anything we can do safely and efficiently to lesson that burden is the responsibility of our State’s leaders.
Natural Gas Exploration
US Geological surveys indicate that there is almost certainly a large supply of natural gas approximately 45 miles off North Carolina’s northeastern shore line. As a result, I support exploration and drilling for natural gas and/or petroleum on the Outer Continental Shelf off North Carolina’s coast. Contrary to what some may suggest, I do not think it would hurt North Carolina’s tourism industry as the platforms would not be visible from the shore-even the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Our state has large reserves of shale gas beneath much of central North Carolina. I support the extraction of that natural gas through the responsible procedures done safely throughout our country. This is one major reason why I supported the Domestic Energy Jobs Act during the 2013 Session.
Energy Independence is becoming more of a priority around our nation, and with that comes the opportunity for great economic development and increased job opportunities. Just as it has in other energy rich states, bringing natural gas extraction to North Carolina will promote economic development in and around Harnett County.
The Mining and Energy Commission has been working on establishing rules for safe extraction for over three years, and the energy industry has been working on safe solutions for over 20 years. Despite what you have heard, natural gas extraction is being done safely and responsibly throughout the United States. This is a jobs issue. I will continue to support this common sense, pro-jobs energy initiative throughout the 2014 Short Session.
Please know that I would never advocate anything that would hurt tourism on our Coast or adversely affect the lives of those living and working in Central North Carolina