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Coal Ash clean up, mixed messages cloud governor’s approval rating (audio)

The latest numbers from Public Policy Polling indicate only 30% of voters approve of the way Governor Pat McCrory has handled North Carolina’s coal ash problems, compared to 44% who disapprove.

Frank Holleman, a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, says North Carolinians should be frustrated by the mixed messages and slow response from the McCrory administration in addressing the Dan River disaster and the safe storage of toxic ash at 14 other coal-fired power plants across North Carolina.

Gov. Pat McCrory has said that he wants Duke Energy to move its ash ponds away from drinking-water sources. But state environmental Sec. John Skvarla suggested last month that requiring Duke to move its coal ash away from North Carolina’s waterways might actually do more harm than good.

“Until the governor’s own appointee begins to carry out the words that the governor has been speaking,  I think all of our citizens have to question whether the governor really means what he’s saying,” said Holleman this week in an interview with NC Policy Watch.

Just this week, the governor avoided questions about whether his former employer should pay for the clean-up, saying he wants to “keep the politics out” of that decision.

Seventy-nine percent of the respondents to the PPP poll believe Duke Energy should bear the cost of cleaning-up the coal ash ponds, not taxpayers and not its customers.

Holleman joins us this weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon to discuss what Duke Energy and the McCrory administration need to do about the Dan River coal ash spill. For a preview of  that radio interview, click below.

Duke Energy faces a March 15th deadline to present its response to the governor, laying out the options and costs for cleaning up the Dan.

One Comment


  1. Ted

    March 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    So we should all just respect the process, now? Really? That’s a tough pill to swallow given how our Rebublican supermajority handled the Bonner Bridge situation …

    “It’s inexcusable,” McCrory said at a press conference in Nags Head near the closed bridge.

    “The Southern Environmental Law Center’s frivolous lawsuit is only the latest episode in their scheme to agitate the left and raise funds for an extreme, fringe agenda – this time, at the expense of Northeastern North Carolina’s economy,” state Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said in a prepared statement.

    In his letter to the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association, Governor McCrory wrote “Your lawsuits are standing in the way of progress for the people, the environment and the economy of Hatteras Island and Eastern North Carolina…You and your organization are responsible for these delays and should consider yourself accountable to the people of Hatteras Island and the taxpayers of North Carolina.”

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