Northeast North Carolina’s paper of record, the Virginian-Pilot, is calling on federal investigators to ask Gov. McCrory directly what he knew, when he knew it and what he did about the Duke coal ash disaster:
“DENR Secretary John Skvarla briefed McCrory – who worked for Duke Energy for nearly 30 years and owns stock in the company – about those lawsuits.
Skvarla testified before lawmakers that McCrory told him two things: ‘He said protect the environment, and do the right thing.’
Instead, Skvarla negotiated a $99,111 settlement with the $50 billion company.
‘Federal prosecutors served Skvarla’s agency and Duke with grand jury subpoenas demanding records as part of a federal investigation into the spill, which contaminated the river so badly public health officials advised against prolonged contact with the water or eating fish,’ reported Michael Biesecker of The Associated Press.
The DENR secretary claims he didn’t tell McCrory about the settlement with Duke, which was scuttled after the spill.
Skvarla should be given every opportunity to explain before a federal grand jury his actions before and after the spill and his role in negotiations with Duke. So should the governor.”
Meanwhile, the Greensboro News & Record says the Guv shouldn’t have backtracked on his statement that the coal ash dumps need to be moved:
“Gov. Pat McCrory had it right the first time.
‘First of all, they’ve got to fix what’s broken, and then they’ve got to have a long-term solution of moving the ash ponds so they don’t cause long-term issues with our water anywhere in North Carolina and, frankly, with our neighboring states,’ the governor said in Greensboro Monday….
Except, his words didn’t hold up for long. Later the same day, even as coal ash was flowing ever-farther down river, the governor’s office issued an amended statement: ‘Moving the coal ash is one option available at this point, and everything is on the table in order to best protect our people and the environment’….
The governor should trust his first instincts. He should announce that it is now the policy of his administration that Duke Energy must relocate every one of its coal ash ponds in North Carolina. He should say he will seek legislative authority, this year, to order this done.”