Friday, March 23, 2007


Citing environmental and economic concerns, House Speaker Joe Hackney joined with Gov. Easley and Senate leader Marc Basnight this week to oppose the construction of a practice landing field the Navy wants to build in Washington and Beaufort counties. Our US House delegation has also been outspoken in its opposition, but unfortunately Senators Dole and Burr are supportive of the proposal continuing. The outlying landing field, or OLF, would cover 30,000 acres near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge where more than 100,000 snow geese and tundra swans spend the winter. The land is also home to two endangered species: red wolves and bald eagles. The Navy's plan would also hurt the economy of the area by preventing farming of soybeans, corn, and wheat on 25,000 acres surrounding the core of the landing field. The navy's solution to the danger that birds present to the jets is to poison and shoot them if the mandated crop changes don't work to drive the birds away.

As mentioned briefly last week, I proposed a ban (House Bill 838) on the sale of incandescent light bulbs in North Carolina effective Jan. 1, 2016. This ban would coincide with the recent announcement that Phillips, the world's largest maker of incandescent light bulbs, would phase out its manufacture of such bulbs by 2016. Although there have been improvements over the past century, the basic design of incandescent bulbs has remained largely unchanged since the late 1800s. They produce light by running electric current through a metal filament. Compact fluorescent bulbs cost more but last longer and use less energy, although they do contain mercury, and we must provide for their safe disposal.

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