Democracy NC: McCrory cuts sweetheart deal with Duke Energy

The watchdogs at Democracy NC just released the following:

Data Highlight: McCrory’s Sweetheart Deal with Duke Energy

In a remarkable sweetheart deal anchored with $1 million in campaign contributions, Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration yesterday agreed to settle a lawsuit against Duke Energy’s pollution of drinking water supplies in western North Carolina. Millions of tons of ash residue from Duke’s power plants have leaked contaminants into MountainIslandLake near Charlotte and the French BroadRiver near Asheville.

The problems have been known for years, but McCrory’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources signed an agreement that delays remedial action, calls for more study of the pollution, and fines Duke a piddling $99,112. Given Duke’s $19.6 billion in 2012 operating revenues, that’s the equivalent of fining a person with a $60,000 salary a total of 30 cents.

Under the agreement, Duke receives amnesty for its previous pollution, can continue leaching contaminants into the water, and gets to decide when its research shows that the contamination is significant enough to address. Gov. McCrory is largely turning over his responsibility to protect the public’s health to his former employer. The agreement is subject to 30 days of public comment before it can become effective.

Here are two news stories: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/07/15/4166607/duke-energy-state-to-settle-ash.html and http://blogs2.citizen-times.com/outdoors/2013/07/15/nc-proposes-coal-ash-lawsuit-settlement-with-duke-energy/

The cozy relationship between Duke Energy and the McCrory administration becomes clearer when you follow the political money….

Read the rest of the release by clicking here.

2 Comments

  1. Steve Harrison

    July 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Leaving the assessment of this pollution up to the polluters is an abrogation of the responsibility for safeguarding the health of NC citizens. The pollution itself should be a crime, but so should the lack of concern on the part of the leadership at DENR.

    The really frustrating thing is, Republicans win no matter what. If the DENR doesn’t protect people in cases like this, or if the waiting time for permits gets longer (the single biggest complaint from customers) because their staff has been cut by 40%, it won’t bring about more funding, it’s just more nails in the coffin for government oversight of the environment.

    And of course, when bloggers like me attack the DENR, it also serves that purpose. Which makes me angrier than I can possibly describe.

  2. George Greene

    July 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    And the dept.of.nat.resources has THE POWER to settle all that?? Without even consulting the rest of the council of state OR ANYbody?!??