End State Officials’ Cooperation with Chronic Polluters

coal ash pool

Target: Pat McCrory, Governor of North Carolina

Goal: End state officials’ support for a major energy company’s chronic polluting

In 2013, a coalition of environmentalists sued Duke Energy to force the company to clean up dozens of its leaky dump sites in North Carolina. Duke lobbyists sought to include a provision freeing them from the costly cleanups into an unrelated bill, and the Republican-controlled legislature gladly granted their wish.

Governor Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for nearly 3o years before taking office, and was vocal in his support for the bill. “This common-sense legislation cuts government red tape, axes overly burdensome regulations, and puts job creation first here in North Carolina,” claimed McCrory. But an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center saw things differently, pointing out how “This sweeping change gutted North Carolina’s groundwater law.”

Rather than hold the company accountable for a massive spill of toxic sludge into the Dan River, the North Carolina legislature changed state law to let the company off the hook. Regulators let Duke’s ongoing polluting at numerous locations go unchecked even before the spill. The law change goes even further, essentially allowing the company to pollute its own property without consequence—even when this pollution enters waterways.

Tell Governor McCrory that North Carolinians deserve clean water, not water laced with arsenic and other toxic chemicals. Demand an end to the cronyism that has defined state officials’ relationship with Duke Energy.


Dear Governor McCrory,

Duke Energy has left your state a toxic legacy, and will continue to do so as long as North Carolina officials support its unchecked pollution. Compliance boundaries surrounding its coal plants were intended to be an early warning system, alerting regulators and the company when coal ash sludge escaped containment pools. But with recent changes to state law, Duke and companies like it can now pollute on their own property without being held accountable.

Pollution does not respect boundaries. If it leaks beyond coal ash ponds, it will likely continue to migrate into nearby streams and rivers—as it has in the past, with devastating consequences. Cleanups are expensive and rather than pay for them Duke can instead purchase additional, bordering properties and kick the can on down the line.

The health of Lake Julian Trails community residents shouldn’t be sacrificed to protect company profits. And they are not alone in questioning the sanity, and even the legality, of such cronyism between state and company officials. End your administration’s support for Duke’s dirty tricks.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: KTrimble via Wikimedia

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