Did you see our NC Governor McCrory on the Sunday morning talk shows? He appeared on both "Meet the Press" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulus" specifically to discuss the effects of our recent heavy snow storms.
Had you heard him, you would have thought he was a breath of fresh air in the dirty political scene. A moderate who is more concerned with the environment and the citizens than he is about his own political agenda. YOU COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG.
McCrory loves to be photographed at schools. Perhaps he thinks we will forget about his cuts in education funding and teacher salaries if we see him in school often enough.
Although the appearances on television were about the snow storm, it was a given that the moderators would ask Gov. McCrory about climate change and his on-the-record statement that he doesn't get caught up in the global warming debate because he thinks it is in God's hands. I almost dropped my coffee with his response that we should stop arguing and pointing fingers and concentrate on keeping the air and water clean. "My main argument is let's clean up the environment. As a mayor and now as a governor I'm spending my time cleaning our air, cleaning our water and cleaning the ground" he said.
Gov. McCrory worked at Duke Energy for 28 years. That, in and of itself is not a problem. But consider this:
--- Duke Energy via its political action committee donated at least 1.1 million dollars to McCrory's campaign.
--- Upon election, Gov. McCrory appointed several former Duke Energy employees to key positions in State government, including the Commerce Secretary.
--- Duke Energy is likely the largest pollutor of toxic metals into our state's water systems
--- Environmental groups three times in 2013 tried to force Duke Energy to clear out coal ash dumps using the Clean Water Act. The efforts have been blocked each time. By whom? By the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
--- North Carolina is the only state in its region that has not adopted the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) rules on measuring toxic metals.
--- The DENR refused Environmental Protection Agency grants of more than half a million dollars. The grants were for monitoring water quality.
You may have heard about a recent coal ash spill in Eden, NC. A pipe ruptured at a closed Duke Energy coal-fired power plant. More than fifty thousand tons of coal ash spilled into the Dan River. [Coal ash is the waste after burning coal and has very high concentrations of toxic metals, such as mercury, arsenic and selenium.]
Coal ash spreading across the Dan River
Yes, that is a city downstream from the spill.
Photographs from the Appalachian Voice
There are thirty-one coal ash ponds in North Carolina, almost all of them near rivers and many of them more than half a century old. Gov. McCrory would have you believe that he has a good track record of going after Duke Energy for violations. Really, Guv?
Here's what he did after the major spill into the Dan River. The State proposed that Duke Energy should pay almost one hundred thousand dollars to settle the violations. Duke Energy is a fifty billion dollar company so a hundred thousand is a very small penalty. So no lawsuit. Duke Energy signed on to the penalty. They said they are sorry and will clean up the spill.
Oh, by the way; the settlement does not require Duke Energy to actually remove the coal ash from the other sites. Just pay the penalty.
So friends, our Governor McCrory is not at all the moderate concerned green person you saw on television. He is in favor of shale fracking in our Piedmont area where the shale is quite fragile. He is in favor of exploring possible oil drilling off our hurricane prone coast. He began his term by favoring big business over science. The General Assembly passed a bill stating that NC would not accept recent studies on rising sea levels. You see? We are a coastal state and saying the sea level is rising would be bad for development. Yep, that's what the Guv said.
Thanks. I always feel better after ranting. I sent a letter to Governor McCrory after his appearance, but I haven't yet received the usual generic response. I think he has a separate file for "That Brevard Bitch" who keeps writing, complete with canned responses.