RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the federal government must step up and again be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the effects of climate change.
Cooper testified Wednesday before the House Committee on Natural Resources on Capitol Hill with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and others. Cooper talked about global warming concerns after massive hurricanes Matthew and Florence struck the state since 2016, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage and hurting the economy.
The panel met to consider the effects of climate change on communities, the economy and natural resources, according to a committee release.
Cooper said he is also unhappy with President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. Cooper signed an executive order last fall setting a goal to cut North Carolina greenhouse gases by 40 percent before 2025, compared to 2005. And he and Baker are among 20 governors participating in a state alliance committed to meeting the Paris agreement goals.
Cooper told committee members there needs to be a balance between approving regulations that promote emission reductions and preserve resources along with creating economic incentives that discourage pollution.
Cooper and Baker also expressed their opposition to oil and natural gas drilling off the Atlantic coast, citing tourism and fisheries concerns.