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Media Advisory: Environmental groups demand five questions for Governor McCrory at debate

Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2016
Contact: Katie Todd; katie@nclcv.org; 919.244.5868

Environmental groups demand five questions for Governor McCrory at Tuesday’s debate
Governor must answer questions about his coal ash coverup and relationship with Duke Energy

RALEIGH: 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.

Tuesday morning, residents whose water has been contaminated by coal ash chemicals will join local environmental groups outside UNC-TV studios to urge debate moderator Chuck Todd to ask Gov. McCrory about his administration’s ongoing coverup of coal ash pollution across the state and his relationship with his former employer, Duke Energy.

“I’ve tried to contact Gov. McCrory’s office several times about our contaminated water, with no response,” said Jennifer Worrell of Goldsboro. “Although Gov. McCrory still hasn’t given us any answers, the message he’s sending is loud and clear: We’re just not important to him.”

WHAT: News conference discussing five questions for Gov. McCrory

WHO: NC League of Conservation Voters, Down East Coal Ash Coalition, Greenpeace, Progress NC Action

WHEN: Tuesday, October 11 at 10:30am

WHERE: Outside UNC-TV studios, 10 TW Alexander Drive in Research Triangle Park

“Gov. McCrory spent the last four years systematically dismantling North Carolina’s public health and environmental protections and protecting his former employer from the consequences of polluting our rivers and wells with coal ash,” said Katie Todd, Communications Director with the NC League of Conservation Voters. “He has refused to answer to the hundreds of families still living off bottled water thanks to his coal ash coverup, so maybe he’ll answer to voters during Tuesday’s debate.”

The five questions that Gov. McCrory should answer about his administration’s ongoing coal ash coverup include the following:

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?

Speakers at Tuesday’s news conference will be available for in-person interviews following the event.

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NC League of Conservation Voters is a statewide lobbying organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing North Carolina’s natural environment. NCLCV has been working to protect North Carolina’s environment and our citizen’s health for nearly 50 years, turning environmental values into North Carolina priorities. NCLCV’s vision for the future of North Carolina is that all citizens and our elected decision-makers will better understand and appreciate North Carolina’s unique natural environment, and the integral role it plays in North Carolina’s economy and quality of life. Visit nclcv.org for more information.

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