By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
March 10, 2022
Thursday, the North Carolina House unanimously approved resolution HR 981, a resolution expressing support for Ukraine as its people fight for freedom and urging Congress to increase domestic energy production.
In a press release, House Speaker Tim Moore said, “We stand firmly with the Ukrainian people as they fight to defend their country from Russian aggression. As millions of refugees flee and hundreds of civilians have been slaughtered, it is crucial that civilized nations of the world stand with them now.”
Moore continued, “Furthermore, it’s time for our leaders in Congress and the White House to reverse course on unnecessarily limiting our production of energy. We must increase our domestic energy production to strengthen our security at home.”
The resolution falls on the heels of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 251, which condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine by ordering all Russian manufactured alcohol, more specifically vodka, be removed from Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) stores across the state. The Governor’s executive order also addressed existing contracts for goods and services.
But last week, Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said that although he commended the Governor’s action, the executive order wouldn’t have any substantive effect on the Russian economy. “It’s a symbolic gesture,” at best said Creech. “But we need to be focused on oil and energy, not just vodka or other goods and services.”
Creech added, “I am no expert on foreign affairs, but I think anyone can see what ought to be addressed immediately is the opening up and finishing of the Keystone Pipeline, as well as exploring and creating new sources of oil and gas. Let the natural gas and oil flow here and export it – so we or other NATO countries won’t have to be beholden to Russia. If Gov. Cooper won’t press the President about this, and he won’t, then the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly should pass a resolution to this effect, which would represent the collective will of North Carolinians, and send it to the President… that might lead to something substantive being done.”
Thursday, Creech said he was pleased to learn the House had done what he had hoped the General Assembly might do.
“I don’t know if I had any influence on the resolution. Generally speaking, I know lawmakers read and respect the information provided by the Christian Action League. They are quite familiar with my editorials and what I’ve said in news stories, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is they saw the wisdom in approving the resolution that they did. It could have a substantive effect, pressuring the U.S. Congress, as well as the White House, on the issue of energy independence – especially if it were to catch on in other states and they were to do something similar,” said Creech.
Among HR 981’s seven statements of Whereas, lines 15 and 16 read:
“Whereas, the State of North Carolina also urges the United States government to decrease the country’s dependence on foreign oil by increasing our domestic production.”
Section 2 of the resolution clearly says:
“The North Carolina House of Representatives urges the United States government to hold the Russian government accountable for its actions, provide humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people, and take steps to reduce the United States’ dependence on foreign oil by increasing domestic energy production.”
Section 4 of the resolution instructs:
“The Principal Clerk shall transmit a copy of this resolution to each member of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, and the President of the United States.”
HR 981 was one of the last pieces of business ending the Legislature’s Long Session. The Long Session typically ends around July, but because of COVID precautions, difficulties reconciling budget negotiations between the House, Senate, and Governor Cooper, and redistricting litigation that required lawmakers to remake the maps, the Long Session pushed into the present. According to the Associated Press, it was the longest since 1965.
Speaker Moore said the General Assembly had set a record in the amount of time they had gaveled into session in 2021. It was a record he said he hoped they would never break again.