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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.
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Earlier this week in Hendersonville, state Sen. Tom Apodaca told a crowd of supporters that they “need a  general” like Pat McCrory to lead  “the army” of Republican legislators in place at the General Assembly.

While the line may sound good in a room full of potential volunteers and donors, Public Policy Polling director Tom Jensen says it may in fact signal a misstep by the Republican gubernatorial candidate.

Jensen notes that in “buddying himself up to” a conservative legislature with a 16% approval rating, McCrory may be creating more potential trouble for himself in the fall.

Jensen says while the former Charlotte mayor currently enjoys a lead over any of his potential Democratic opponents, 57% of voters polled said they were less likely to support McCrory knowing that he supported the Republican-led budget plan, which resulted in deep cuts to public education.

Pollster Tom Jensen runs down the latest poll numbers in North Carolina’s gubernatorial contest and the presidential race this weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon. For a preview of his radio interview, click below:

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