The message behind McCrory’s lack of action on coal ash

Coal ash clean upThere have been several noteworthy reactions to Governor Pat McCrory’s strange decision to simply let the General Assembly’s coal ash legislation become law without his signature last week. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger came this close to accusing the Governor of – yikes! – improper bias toward his longtime employer when he said the following in a statement reported this morning by the Greensboro News & Record:

“The governor’s primary concern appears to be a desire to control the coal ash commission and avoid an independent barrier between his administration and former employer.”

Veteran environmental advocate and Winston-Salem city councilman Dan Besse got it just about right, however, when he authored the following for the weekly newsletter of N.C. League of Conservation Voters this morning:

Executive Watch: No Signature, No Veto, No Action

Nothing could symbolize Governor McCrory’s effective influence level at the NC General Assembly more precisely than what he finally chose to do regarding the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014.


No signature, but no veto either. He’s piqued that the legislature chose to create (and largely appoint) a special Coal Ash Management Commission, instead of leaving the task of carrying out legislative policy in his administration’s hands. He may ask the NC Supreme Court for an “advisory opinion” on the constitutionality of that commission.

Of course, his administration’s performance to date has hardly inspired confidence anywhere beyond the executive suites of Duke Energy. While McCrory focuses on protesting the special commission’s creation, his Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) continues to allow dozens of coal ash pits to continue to leak toxins into North Carolina’s ground- and surface waters. Aren’t you missing the real point here, governor?

Unfortunately, so does the Coal Ash Management Act. Concerned citizens may be excused for wondering whether they have a stake in this fight between the legislative and executive branches. It’s no wonder that frustrated citizen conservation groups have instead turned to the courts for action to force timely cleanup of toxic pollution from coal ash.

Check Also

Housing advocates: New Trump administration rule will promote discrimination

The good people at the National Housing Law ...

Join Our Team

NC Policy Watch is hiring two new journalists to join our award-winning team. Click here for more information.  

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

As part of our ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the state judiciary, Policy Watch is [...]

North Carolina was a battleground state in the 2016 presidential election, and there's no doubt [...]

Man who went by "James Fortune" was a gateway to network of far-right operatives Shortly a [...]

Amber Williams has seen better days. But the mother of four girls isn’t complaining. Her young famil [...]

Supreme Court hypocrisy, effort to infiltrate progressive NC groups ought to be the last straws It s [...]

For many parents and caregivers, seeing their child struggle through virtual learning can be both fr [...]

Click here for the original story. The post The far-right go fishin’ appeared first on NC Policy Wat [...]

There has never been a more urgent time for Congress to step up and pass a relief package that ackno [...]