Five questions for Gov. McCrory at Tuesday’s debate
Governor must answer questions about his coal ash coverup and relationship with Duke Energy
During his four years as governor, Pat McCrory has consistently put the profits of polluters over the health and safety of North Carolina families. On Tuesday, Gov. McCrory will defend his abysmal record in his first televised debate with Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Here are five questions that moderator Chuck Todd should as Gov. McCrory about his administration’s ongoing coverup of coal ash pollution across the state, and his relationship with his former employer, Duke Energy:
- Secret Dinner: At the height of the coal ash cleanup debate in 2015, you held a secret dinner meeting at your mansion with Duke Energy executives and state environmental regulators. Shortly afterward, your administration reduced Duke Energy’s coal ash fine from $25 million to $6 million. What agreements were made during your secret dinner meeting?
- Rudo Meeting: Your chief of staff held a last-minute press conference in the dead of night to accuse state toxicologist Dr. Ken Rudo of lying under oath after he testified that you participated in a meeting between Dr. Rudo and your communications director to discuss water safety standards. Now, your chief of staff admits that you did in fact call into the meeting. What did you discuss? Why did you allow your chief of staff to falsely accuse a 30-year state scientist of lying under oath?
- Water Standards: You characterized your attempts to pressure state scientists to weaken water safety standards and cancel hundreds of Do Not Drink orders as a "disagreement among scientists." But not a single state scientist has gone on record agreeing with your position, and state epidemiologist Dr. Megan Davies even resigned over your administration's attempts to mislead the public. So which "scientists" are you talking about? Do they perhaps work for Duke Energy?
- Coal Ash Families: Why will you have dinner with a big corporate polluter who has donated thousands of dollars to your campaign, but you won't take the time to visit any of the hundreds of families who have struggled for over 18 months with contaminated water? Why are you more interested in protecting the corporate interests of Duke Energy than the health and safety of North Carolina families?
- Cleanup Costs: Why did you sign a law allowing Duke Energy to pass the costs of coal ash cleanup on to rate-payers? Why should North Carolina families be forced to pay to clean up Duke Energy's mess?