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Wind energy permitting process among new NC laws

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Gov. Pat McCrory says a new law laying out rules for building wind farms in North Carolina will help create a diverse supply of energy for the state and boost the economy.
    
McCrory announced he signed five bills into law Friday, among them the measure creating a framework for a new required wind energy permit from the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
    
The Republican governor said his signature helps develop his "all-of-the-above" energy strategy that includes both traditional and alternative sources. McCrory also has urged President Barack Obama to open mid-Atlantic waters to offshore exploration of natural gas and oil.
    
"This law will help unleash our state's energy resources to power our economy and enable us to harness those resources in a safe, reliable and cost-effective manner," McCrory said in a statement. "Our pursuit of energy from biofuels, clean coal, natural gas, solar, nuclear and wind are part of a prosperous energy future in North Carolina."
    
The legislation sets parameters for permit applications that include public hearings so opponents can raise concerns. State regulators could deny an application if a project could adversely affect the environment, private landowners or military operations.
    
McCrory also signed into law a bill making it a crime to fail to report a missing child and increasing punishment for false reports about similar investigations.
    
The measure is named in memory of Caylee Anthony, a Florida toddler whose death made national headlines. The bill makes it a felony when parents knowingly fail to report to police their child has been missing for at least 24 hours. There also would be a new crime of failing to notify authorities about a child's death.

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