In case you missed it late last Friday, Governor McCrory gave final approval to a bill that purports to address the state’s coal ash crisis, but that environmental advocates are deriding as the “Duke Energy Protection Act.” The folks at the League of Conservation Voters have distributed this helpful response/summary this morning:
GOV. MCCRORY SIGNS “DUKE ENERGY PROTECTION ACT”
Former Duke employee shows his loyalty to former employer, not current constituents
RALEIGH (July 18, 2016): To no surprise, Governor Pat McCrory signed disastrous coal ash legislation into law late Friday afternoon, further stalling the cleanup of the state’s toxic coal ash mess. House Bill 630, more appropriately called the “Duke Energy Protection Act,” gives the utility monopoly even more time to leave poisonous coal ash waste in leaking pits. Every day that passes puts the health and safety of more and more North Carolinians at risk. Even more egregious, this bill undermines the more than 8,000 comments submitted by North Carolina citizens earlier this year urging leaders to remove all coal ash sitting near waterways and to label no community as low-risk.
“There are families across North Carolina who cannot drink their own well water because it’s contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals found in Duke Energy’s coal ash,” said Dan Crawford, director of governmental relations for NC League of Conservation Voters. “Duke Energy had revenues of over $23 billion in 2015, yet Governor McCrory just signed a law that lets his former employer off the hook with a cheaper alternative and a longer timeline. If the water in the Governor’s Mansion were poisoned, I’ll bet Gov. McCrory wouldn’t get by on bottled water for three years, so why does he expect North Carolina citizens to do just that?”
“Unlike what Governor McCrory and Duke Energy want you to believe, this bill is no compromise,” continued Crawford. “Instead, it gives power back to Duke Energy, the reason for this toxic mess, to decide when or even if coal ash remains near our waterways. Clean, safe drinking water is a critical issue that should have been considered in its own legislation; it should not be grouped with a bill designed to protect the interests of Duke Energy. It is shameful that the McCrory administration continues to ignore the health of our people in favor of political back-scratching with a dirty polluter.”
Facts on House Bill 630