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Pat McCrory 4Northeast 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. Read More

John SkvarlaIn recent days in the aftermath of the Duke Energy coal ash disaster, North Carolina DENR Secretary John Skvarla has taken to referring to environmental groups as “partners” of his agency in dealing with the coal ash problem. As we’ve reported on multiple occasions on this site, however, Skvarla has repeatedly used derogatory language to refer to environmental groups. Last year, he told the John Locke Foundation that we’d all be “wearing loincloths and living in lean-tos” if we followed the advice of environmental groups.

Last night, the Winston-Salem Journal reported additional examples of Skvarla speaking ill of his “partners”: Read More

A story in this morning’s Charlotte Observer makes the answer pretty obvious:

Duke Energy hit its 2013 earnings target on the strength of its merger with Progress Energy, higher customer rates and a strong finish to the year.

Profits of $2.7 billion for the year earned $3.76 a share, compared with the $1.8 billion and $3.07 a share in 2012, Duke said Tuesday.

Adjusted for one-time items, earnings were $4.35 a share, at the midpoint of Duke’s target range and ahead of analysts’ estimates. That’s up from $4.32 a year ago.”

Read the entire story by clicking here.

Coal ashDon’t get shut out of next week’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation — “Duke’s Dan River coal ash disaster: What happened? How big is the problem? What’s next?” The event will feature two of the state’s leading experts on the subject:  Clean water advocate Amy Adams of the group Appalachian Voices and State Rep. Pricey Harrison.

When: Thursday, February 27 at 12 noon – Box lunches will be available at 11:45 a.m.

Where: *(NOTE—NEW LOCATION)* The North Carolina Association of Educators Building, 700 S. Salisbury St. in Raleigh. This location feature on-site parking.

Space is limited – pre-registration required.

Click here to register

Questions?? Contact Rob Schofield at 919-861-2065 or rob@ncpolicywatch.com

The U.S. Attorney in Raleigh has subpoenaed records from North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources  in connection with a criminal investigation into the massive coal ash spill on the Dan River, the subject of our recent posts yesterday and today.

The grand jury subpoena  calls for the production of agency documents by March 18  relating to the Dan River plant and the Feb. 2 broken storm water pipe that led to the spill, including among other records,  any applications by and permits granted to Duke Energy for that site;  records relating to the break; emails and communications dating from 2010 forward regarding discharge at the site; records generated after the Feb. 2 break; and records relating to any enforcement by DENR for Duke Energy violations at Dan River.

DENR spokesman Drew Elliot says the state will cooperate with the federal investigators.