David Gutierrez
Natural News
Thursday, November 26, 2009

(NaturalNews) In response to the prevalence of laws and covenants that prohibit residents from hanging their laundry on clotheslines, North Carolina State Rep. Pricey Harrison introduced a bill into the state legislature that would prohibit cities and counties from adopting such rules – only to have it shot down by the Senate Commerce Committee in ignominious defeat.

Harrison said the point of the bill was to allow people the option to use clotheslines if they wanted to, as a way to save energy. An estimated 10 to 25 percent of the average home’s energy use comes from its clothes dryer, he said. Initially, the bill also banned homeowners associations from adopting anti-clothesline restrictions, but this provision was removed in the face of staunch resistance.

Yet even the compromise bill faced an uphill and ultimately futile battle.

“Is there any kind of a dress code required when you’re hanging out your clothes?” Sen. Tony Rand asked mockingly, referencing many committee members’ expressed disgust with the idea of seeing other people’s underwear.

“I can just see [Sen. Clark Jenkins] stringing up his underwear on the line right outside the beach house,” Sen. Debbie Clary said.

Other senators mounted an ideological attack on the very idea of the bill.

“I also think we ought to let cities and counties to elect local ordinances that govern these types of things,” Sen. Malcolm Graham said. “I don’t think the state should have an umbrella ordinance for clotheslines … we just can’t legislate everything.”

Not all senators were opposed.

“I think we ought to be encouraging people to [use clotheslines],” said Sen. William Purcell. In addition the energy savings, he noted that his wife insists on always drying cotton sheets on the line, as the dryer would damage them.

Yet it took only a simple voice vote to make it clear that the bill had almost no support in the committee.

“It’s been a real problem for folks who feel pretty adamantly they want to use clotheslines,” Harrison said.

Sources for this story include: www.news-record.com.



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