Gov. McCrory Called Out For Another False and Misleading Political Ad
With Governor McCrory under fire for his cozy relationship with Duke Energy and his administration's poor handling of the coal ash crisis, he's resorting to more false statements and dubious political ads. His most recent ad, in which McCrory accuses Roy Cooper of hindering the coal ash clean up efforts with no evidence whatsoever, received the worst ranking possible in WRAL's fact check.
"From our position, the McCrory administration has actually made it more difficult to get the cleanup issues resolved," Diggins said.
If, she said, Cooper or his department bears any responsibility for slowing the cleanup, "it would be as a lawyer for the administration."
Robin Smith, a lawyer and former DENR assistant secretary under Perdue and Easley, now frequently writes about environmental issues, including coal ash. Before moving to DENR, she was a special deputy attorney general in the Attorney General's Office before Cooper took over, concentrating on environmental policy.
"The only thing I can say about that is I never came across anything that elevated that issue (coal ash) to the level of the attorney general himself, he or his predecessors really," Smith said.
As with Diggins, she said the Department of Justice's main role was providing legal advice to DENR based on the current state of laws and regulations, not driving policy one way or the other.
"I didn't come across anything where any attorney general along the line took an independent position," she said.
THE CALL: The backup from McCrory's camp fails to show that Cooper personally fought the cleanup of coal ash in the state or allowed his department to do so. Interviews with those who have been the most vocal watchdogs with regard to environmental policy say they have a hard time reconciling the claim with what they've observed over the years. We're giving this statement a a moving violation on our fact-checking scale, the lowest rating, because it makes a serious accusation without backing it up.