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NC forestry highlighted in green-energy bill

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A bill sought by North Carolina's forest products industry has cleared the House despite opposition by legislators worried it could harm a Charlotte-based steel company.

The House gave its final approval Monday evening to legislation making clear no taxpayer-funded project could use a green-building rating system in which North Carolina forestry products are at a disadvantage compared to imported lumber.

The bill now headed to the Senate following a 70-43 vote would target Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system. Bill supporters say a very small percentage of North Carolina forests meet LEED standards.

House members differed on whether the measure will generate new forestry jobs or hurt recycled steel manufacturer Nucor, which benefits from LEED projects.

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