What’s He Hiding? McCrory Caught Lying About Meeting with Duke Execs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016

CONTACT: Dave Miranda

What’s He Hiding? McCrory Caught Lying About Meeting with Duke Execs

McCrory explanation for secret meeting doesn’t add up

RALEIGH, N.C. – In last night’s debate, Governor McCrory was asked about a secret meeting he held with Duke Energy executives in June of 2015. The Governor claimed that the meeting was to discuss his intention to veto coal ash legislation. But that doesn’t add up.

McCrory’s coal ash ‘veto’ claim during debate doesn’t fit timeline, WRAL 10/18/16

In June of 2015, Governor McCrory held a dinner with Duke Energy executives. Subsequently, the McCrory administration pressured state scientists to withdraw do-not-drink orders for water they believed to be toxic near coal ash ponds. And more recently, the McCrory administration gave Duke an extra four years to clean up coal ash at the HF Lee Coal Ash Plant in Goldsboro – the same plant that leaked ash during Hurricane Matthew.

“Last night, Governor McCrory told North Carolina families a bold-faced lie. After meeting with his former employers, Governor McCrory has consistently put families’ safety at risk in order to pad Duke Energy’s profit margins. What sort of promises did Governor McCrory really make to Duke and why won’t he level with families concerned about their drinking water?” said NCDP spokesman Dave Miranda.

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MCCRORY LIED—CLAIMED HE SUPPOSEDLY MET WITH DUKE ENERGY IN JUNE 2015 TO TELL THEM HE WAS GOING TO VETO A COAL ASH BILL THAT DIDN’T EXIST

McCrory In WRAL Debate On Dinner With Duke Energy: “I’ll Tell You What Was Discussed. I Discussed That I Was Going To Veto The Bill That They Wanted That He’s Now Criticizing.” CRABTREE: “There’s no information about what was discussed that night.” MCCRORY: “I didn’t take notes. I’ll tell you what was discussed. I discussed that I was going to veto the bill that they wanted that he’s now criticizing. I said I want to veto this thing it’s totally unacceptable, and I’m going to take it to the supreme court.” [WRAL Debate, 10/18/16]

June 1, 2015: McCrory, His Top Environmental Regulator And Chief Of Staff Met Privately At Governor’s Mansion With Duke Energy CEO, Duke General Counsel, And Duke N.C, Operations President, And Wouldn’t Say Why. “Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration has made much of its efforts over the past year to ‘hold Duke Energy accountable’ for the company’s handling of coal ash pollution. But on June 1, while in the midst of pressing legal action against and issuing news releases critical of the nation’s largest utility, top state officials met for a private dinner at the Executive Mansion with Duke executives, according to calendar entries and other records reviewed by WRAL News. McCrory, his top environmental regulator, his chief of staff and his general counsel attended, as did Duke Chief Executive Lynn Good, the company’s general counsel and the president of the company’s North Carolina operations.” [WRAL, 1/6/16]

·      WRAL Confirmed Crabtree Was Referring To 2015 Dinner. “WRAL Gov’t Coverage ‏@NCCapitol: This is the dinner that Crabtree asked about: https://t.co/alIv4uhFCH #wral #ncgov” [WRAL Tweet, 10/18/16]

MCCRORY VETOED THE COAL ASH BILL IN SUMMER 2016

McCrory Veto [June 6, 2016]

McCrory Vetoed The Bill That Reconstituted Coal Ash Management Commission Bill On June 6, 2016. According to WRAL, “Gov. Pat McCrory has vetoed a bill that would have reconstituted the Coal Ash Management Commission, following through on his earlier threat and prolonging his fight with the General Assembly over how to approach the toxic material leftover when coal is burned for fuel. ‘This legislation is not good for the environment or for the rule of law in North Carolina,” McCrory said in a news release Monday night. Lawmakers were not surprised by the veto. McCrory used news releases to express his displeasure with the bill and sent his general counsel and the secretary of environment to deliver his veto threat in person to lawmakers during committee hearings on the bill. The new law was drafted to replace another, similar measure that McCrory sued over in late 2014.” [WRAL, 6/6/16]

THE OTHER MAJOR COAL ASH LEGISLATION PASSED WASN’T VETOED—AND HAD BEEN LAW FOR 9 MONTHS BY THE TIME MCCRORY MET WITH DUKE

The 2014 Coal Ash Management Act Became Law Without The Governor’s Signature On September 20, 2014. [SB 729, ratified 9/20/14]

MCCRORY ALLOWED DUKE TO NOT CLEAN UP COAL ASH IN GOLDSBORO PLANT THAT LEAKED DURING HURRICANE MATTHEW UNTIL 2028.

COAL ASH WAS RELEASED INTO THE NEUSE RIVER BECAUSE OF FLOODING AT THE NON-CLEANED UP COALASH PONDS AT THE H.F. LEE STATION

Duke Energy: Coal Ash From The H.F. Lee Plant Was Released Into The Neuse River. “Coal ash was released into the flooded Neuse River from an inactive site at the H.F. Lee power plant in Goldsboro, Duke Energy said. Floodwaters covered three inactive coal ash ponds at facility. The sites are now covered with trees, shrubs and grass that have grown in topsoil on top of the coal ash.” [Kinston Free Press, 10/15/16]

MCCRORY’S 2016 COAL ASH LAW DELAYED THE CLEAN UP OF THE COAL ASH PONDS AT H.F. LEE TO 2028

McCrory’s 2016 Coal Ash Law: H.F. Lee Coal Ash Ponds Don’t Need To Be Excavated Until August 2028. “SECTION 3.(a) Notwithstanding G.S. 130A-309.213 or G.S. 130A-309.214, as amended by Section 1 of this act, and except as otherwise preempted by the requirements of federal law, the following coal combustion residuals surface impoundments shall be deemed intermediate-risk and, as soon as practicable, but no later than August 1, 2028, shall be closed in conformance with Section 3(b) of this act: (1) Coal combustion residuals surface impoundments located at the H.F. Lee Steam Station, owned and operated by Duke Energy Progress, and located in Wayne County.” [HB 630/Coal Ash Cleanup Act, signed by McCrory7/14/16]

DEQ HAD WANTED H.F. LEE PONDS EXCAVATED BY 2024, AND FLOODING AND SURFACE WATER RISKS WERE FACTORS IN THAT CLASSIFICATION

H.F. Lee Coal Ash Ponds Had Previously Been Scheduled To Be Cleaned Up By 2024. [NC D.E.Q. Proposed Coal AshPond Classifications, 5/18/16]

DEQ Assistant Sec. Tom Reeder Said DEQ Considered Potential Impacts Of Surface Water And Flooding When Deciding To Classify H.F. Lee As An Intermediate Risk That Should Closed By 2024. “Reeder says a number of factors were considered when proposing classifications for the remaining ten sites. ‘We looked at what we call structural integrity, were the dams safe? Were the impoundments safe? Do they pose a threat to breaking or something like we had the Dan River? We looked at potential impacts of surface water. Were the facilities located in or near a 100 year flood plain? Do they have the capacity to pollute surface waters?  And third, which is probably in some cases the most important category is the groundwater contamination.  How far does the groundwater contamination spread? Does it pose a risk to public health? Has it impacted public wells offsite? Things like that.’” [Public Radio East, 1/11/16]

MCCRORY CLAIMED HIS LAW “PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT”

McCrory On The Coal Ash Law He Signed Delaying Cleanup Of H.F. Lee Ponds Until 2028: “The New Law Protects The Environment While Also Protecting Consumers From Higher Electricity Prices.” “‘This new law is a significant improvement over the bill I vetoed. The previous bill only required a plan to provide water connections with no deadline for actually installing them and it had no requirements for fixing dams or recycling coal ash,’ said Governor McCrory. ‘The new law protects the environment while also protecting consumers from higher electricity prices.’” [McCrory Office Statement, 7/15/16]

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