N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory told civic and economic officials in Washington on Tuesday that his state faces plenty of challenges from the federal government these days, ranging from “serious, serious issues” on transportation to new environmental rules that he finds overbearing.
McCrory, a Republican, spoke at the North Carolina Business and Economic Development Summit in Washington. The event, hosted by U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., was a way for local leaders to hear from government officials about federal legislation and policy. It continues on Wednesday.
McCrory described several of the “issues and challenges” that he said his state faces in Washington, touching on highway construction, energy and Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
The governor discussed his push to renovate major highways throughout North Carolina as well as to build new ones.
“We’ve got some serious, serious issues,” McCrory said. He said he wants to “catch up and move ahead in transportation building.”
The reason for the transportation push, he said, is the rapid growing of the state, which grew more than 18 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census, and is now the ninth most populous in the country.
“We better start preparing for that growth as opposed to reacting to that growth,” he said.
McCrory then mentioned the potential to tap more energy in the state of North Carolina.
North Carolina received permission to do “seismic testing” for oil and gas, and McCrory thanked the Obama administration for allowing the state to “see what’s out there.” However, he argued that North Carolina should receive revenue sharing in the project in order to improve the state.
McCrory also criticized the “new, very stringent regulations” on water and air by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“My administration is very strongly going to fight the regulations of the federal government taking over the waters of North Carolina,” he said. McCrory argued that the new rules will negatively affect North Carolinian communities, especially farmers.
He also said that the EPA air regulations “punish” North Carolina for “progress (it) has already made.”
“We’re not getting credit for what we’ve done,” McCrory said.
Among those in the audience, Scott Millar, president of the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation, applauded McCrory for pushing North Carolina’s economic development.
“We need to get the House and the Senate and the governor’s office all together to help create an environment where economic development projects can be successful,” Millar said.