Action needed as legislature sabotages N.C. light rail

This rendering illustrates a conceptual vision for the Durham-Orange County light rail station near the University of North Carolina's Finley Golf Course. (© GoTriangle)

The Republican leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly recently passed their state budget, developed as a result of closed-door meetings that barred public debate or amendments.

One provision of the closed-door budget could stop all North Carolina light rail projects in their tracks. The budget sets up a procedural framework that would make it impossible for North Carolina to secure federal funding for light rail projects under current law. This provision places in extreme jeopardy the long-planned and widely supported Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project. If the provision stands, North Carolina will be throwing away $1.2 billion in federal funding that the project is on track to receive. Going forward, no light rail projects in the state, including projects in the Charlotte area, would ever be able to qualify for federal funding.    

This latest move by the North Carolina General Assembly undermines all the good work the legislature has done to take the politics out of project selection,” said SELC Attorney Kym Hunter. “This provision in the budget—which was not subject to any public debate or amendment—was a deeply cynical move designed to target a specific project that is not favored by some in our current legislature. The provision should be fixed and the transportation selection process should be allowed to proceed as designed, allowing meritorious projects to move forward when they score well based on data-driven metrics.”

In response, we are urging residents to contact your state representatives and ask them to support a technical correction to save light rail in North Carolina.

More News

Appeals court affirms Smithfield’s liability for noxious odors, noise, and pests

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found Murphy-Brown/Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producers, liable for noxious odors, noise...

8 ways we’re thwarting Trump’s anti-environmental agenda

SELC has emerged as an effective and trusted national leader in fighting against the Trump administration’s long list of anti-environmental assau...

South DeKalb residents challenge Metro Green Recycling facility

Residents of the City of Stonecrest and DeKalb County have moved to intervene in an ongoing suit against Metro Green Recycling’s construction and...

U.S. Forest Service finalizes rule to cut science and public input; increase logging on national forests

The U.S. Forest Service announced today that it is set to finalize a rule that will cut science-based analysis, transparency, and public input fr...

Conservation groups sue USFWS to save wild red wolves

Updated 11/23 at 9am: SELC filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction in the new red wolf case, asking for more specific emergency relief to save...

N.C. adds methyl bromide to list of toxic air pollutants as result of public pressure

After years of public pressure, stakeholder engagement, and an exhaustive rulemaking process, North Carolina has joined approximately 20 other st...

More Stories