Here’s the rather measured statement from the folks at the NC Sierra Club:
“After weeks of expectation and speculation, the House missed the opportunity to build on the Senate’s good start and to address key shortcomings in the legislation. Under Speaker Tillis’ leadership, the House failed to make the final set of changes needed to give North Carolinians the protection they deserve from Duke Energy’s toxic coal ash.
There are no clear requirements in this legislation to ensure it does what it’s intended to do: remove the threat of coal ash to all our waters, and all our communities.
Not only does the bill fail to add protections missing from the Senate version of the bill, but it appears to undermine a recent court ruling stemming from a citizen suit that would require Duke Energy to immediately eliminate the source of its groundwater contamination.
North Carolinians’ right to clean water has been under threat by coal ash for decades. As lawmakers try to settle their differences on this bill in conference committee, communities are counting on them to protect their families and water.”
Meanwhile, activists at NC WARN — which has battled Duke Energy for years over myriad issues — were even more pointed :
“The NC House has just passed a ‘Thom Tillis-Duke Energy Burn the Public’ coal ash bill.
The bill leaves North Carolinians at the mercy of two regulators — DENR and the Utilities Commission — that have sorry track records of backroom dealing with Duke Energy on issues involving safety and electric rate fairness.
There will be very little clean-up, but the public will likely pay billions as Duke turns coal ash failure into a profit center.”