FACT CHECK: McCrory still misleading the public about coal ash coverup
RALEIGH -- During Tuesday evening’s final debate between Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper, the governor claimed his secret dinner meeting with Duke Energy was held to discuss his veto of the coal ash bill S.B. 71.
However, independent fact-checkers have already noted that S.B. 71 had nothing to do with coal ash at the time of Gov. McCrory’s secret dinner meeting in June 2015, and in fact Gov. McCrory didn’t decide to veto the bill until a full year after the secret meeting.
"Gov. McCrory said he discussed vetoing a 2016 coal ash bill at a 2015 secret dinner meeting with Duke Energy executives," said Amy Brown of Belmont, whose well water has been contaminated by chemicals linked to coal ash pollution. "How could he talk about vetoing a bill that wouldn't even exist for another year? This does not add up, and it leaves me wondering how many dinner dates Gov. McCrory has actually had with his former employer."
"Meanwhile, the governor still refuses to meet with families who have struggled with contaminated well water for over a year," added Brown. "The fact that Gov. McCrory continues to duck and dodge on his coal ash cover-up makes it clear that he'd rather protect the profits of polluters than public health and clean water for families like mine."
The version of S.B. 71 that existed at the time of the 2015 secret dinner meeting concerned the Rules Review Commission, and doesn’t even mention coal ash. S.B. 71 didn’t become a coal ash bill until after the state Supreme Court’s January 2016 decision supporting McCrory in dissolving the Coal Ash Commission, which was set up by lawmakers because of McCrory’s conflicts of interest with Duke Energy.
McCrory also claimed during the debate that the secret dinner meeting appeared on his public calendar, which is completely false.