North Carolina Gov.'s "Tough Words" For Duke Energy

Pat McCrory, an employee of Duke Energy for 28 years and who recently signed into law "sweetheart" legislation protecting them from legal recourse, is now pretending to distance himself from the energy giant.
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Here is what Pat McCrory said a couple of days ago after Duke Energy was caught red-handed dumping 61 million gallons of coal ash-laced wastewater.

McCRORY: "The violations that we reported today are extremely serious," said McCrory. "We need an explanation from Duke ASAP not only to us, but to the public at large. They've waited far too long to come out of the shadows and explain what they plan to do, and explain to the public some of the issues that they're encountering at this point in time."

And those are just the type of words one would expect from a Govenor of a state who's seen a spate of flagrant pollution incidents from Duke Energy in recent months. His actions though paint a far different tale.

Before becoming governor, McCrory worked at Duke for more than 28 years. Records show the company and its employees have provided more the $1.1 million to McCrory's campaign and GOP groups that supported his candidacy.

The scuttled settlement was initially tabled Feb. 11, the day after The Associated Press published a story highlighting what environmentalists criticized as a "sweetheart deal" to the governor's former employer.

The state only took legal action against Duke after a coalition of environmental groups represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center filed notice in January 2013 that they planned to sue Duke over its coal ash pollution under the Clean Water Act. The McCrory administration then used its authority under the act to file state violations against Duke and then quickly negotiated the settlement - a move environmentalists contend was intended to shield the nation's largest electricity company from far harsher penalties it might have faced in federal court.


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