For Immediate Release.
Raleigh, NC – The North Carolina state government has failed in its handling of the Duke Energy coal ash spill. This failure was caused by cronyism and Duke Energy’s ties to the McCrory administration. Due to his relationship with Duke Energy, McCrory’s judgment was impaired, and his ability to lead jeopardized.
Governor Pat McCrory worked directly for Duke Energy for 28 years. Duke Energy and its proxies donated a total of 1.1 million dollars to Governor McCrory’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. Governor Pat McCrory held a substantial amount of Duke Energy stock, which he failed to properly report. These factors make him more accountable to the board of directors at Duke Energy then North Carolina voters. Governor Pat McCrory also used his public office to protect his personal investment.
The Kingston Fossil Plant Coal Spill is a 675 million dollar environmental disaster, which dumped toxic waste into North Carolina’s water supply, damaged the natural ecosystem, and created a costly financial burden on taxpayers.
Despite the magnitude of the situation, the McCrory administration has taken no substantial steps in improving the situation. The federal government was forced to step in, and file charges against Duke Energy. The federal government has to front the bill to dredge coal ash from the Emory River. The federally funded Tennessee Valley Authority has been forced to take control of cleanup.
The blame also lies on McCrory’s pick to lead the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Department head John Skvarlam has no qualifications to hold his position. Before taking office John Skvarlam had no experience in dealing with issues pertaining to environmental issues or natural resources. He was a lawyer specializing in tax law and his only qualifications were that of being a Republican Party insider.
To top that off, this is a list of political appointments made by Pat McCrory, who have ties to Duke Energy:
Joseph Harwood, DENR ombudsman – Worked for Duke Energy for 38 years
DENR Communication Director Drew Elliott – Worked for Progress Energy, now a subsidiary of Duke Energy
Tony Almeida, former economic adviser – Worked for Duke Energy for 32 years
Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker – Worked for Duke Energy for 17 years
Office of State Human Resources Director Neal Alexander – Worked for Duke Energy for 40 years
The Reform Party of North Carolina believes that this kind of cronyism and self enrichment must end. Public officials should not be using their positions to reward their long time personal allies, and protect personal investments. The McCrory administration must straighten up its act, and make moves to reform these issues.
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