Sea level rise bill voted through the Senate
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WILMINGTON -- A highly controversial sea level rise bill is heading back to the House after passing through the state Senate with little opposition
This piece of legislation prohibits state agencies from using an accelerated sea level rise rate when making decisions.
NC-20 helped develop this legislation.
"The tide gauge at Wilmington, in the last 20 years, has shown no increase of any kind. It's totally level. The 80-year trend shows about 8 inches by 2100," said Tom Thompson, Chairman of NC-20.
Bill opponents said science supports an accelerated rise of 39 inches or 1 meter by 2100.
"You don't base your decisions on historical data; you got to base your decisions on proper planning, scientific modeling and predictions," said Mike Giles, N.C. Coastal Federation.
Supporters of the bill said, although it may never happen, basing decisions on an accelerated rate will result in the state spending millions of dollars building up homes, buildings and roadways.
Opponents said if they aren't prepared, taxpayers will have to foot the bill when disaster strikes.
"If you get worse damage, is your insurance company going to cover you? They're say we're not going to cover anything above 8 inches because that's the state law," said Giles.
"Since there is no scientific evidence of any increase, despite the fact that CO2 is already going up and has been for several years now, we're saying spending millions, millions, and millions is folly," said Thompson.
This bill has received national criticism from people like Stephen Colbert, but supporters said they're paying attention to actual science and not predictions from paid scientists.
"When you pay someone to investigate something it is not likely they are going to come back and say we didn't find anything," said Thompson.
"This bill is ill-advised. It isn't based on science, it's actually based on politics," said Giles.
Bill supporters are confident the House will pass the legislation during this session. Opponents urge citizens to contact their lawmakers and express their concerns.