Rachel Maddow said on her show Friday night that the toxic coal ash spill in North Carolina exposes Gov. Pat McCrory (R)’s corrupt ties to Duke Energy, the company responsible for sending tens of thousands of tons of coal ash spilling into the Dan River.
On Friday, she said, the Tea Party governor did a press conference thinking that he was going to be answering questions about the winter storm that walloped the region this week. Instead, McCrory found himself on the pointed end of questions about his ties to Duke Energy, the statewide energy company that caused the spill.
Environmental groups in the state have sued Duke Energy over the spill, which has fouled miles of river ecosystems and will take years to clean up. McCrory is accused of working with Duke to quash those suits. He is also known to own a considerable amount of stock in the energy company, but refuses to disclose that amount.
Reporters wanted to know on Friday about the appearance of a conflict of interest.
McCrory stonewalled, saying that he hasn’t had any conversations with Duke energy and that the purpose of the press conference was to tout the administration’s successes with the winter storm.
When reporters persisted, McCrory told them this was “no time to be disrespectful.”
The federal government has launched a grand jury probe into the spill and has subpoenaed both Duke Energy and Gov. McCrory’s administration as part of that investigation.
McCrory is a former Duke Energy executive, but insists that his ties to the company had nothing to do with the lax set safety standards that led to the spill. Nonetheless, the grand jury would like to speak to him on March 18 at 9:00 a.m. and has asked his office for specific documents related to the spill, which took place on Feb. 2.
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