Breaking: NC Senate unveils latest Duke Energy coal ash bailout bill
The following is a statement by Frank Holleman, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center regarding the latest Duke Energy Bailout Bill, HB 630, that came out of closed doors today and is moving quickly through the North Carolina legislature:
Following closed door meetings, the North Carolina Senate today moved to change state law to delay and provide Duke Energy loopholes to avoid coal ash cleanups. This coal ash bill is damning proof that the families and communities of North Carolina can’t rely on state politicians to protect their drinking water supplies from Duke Energy’s coal ash pollution.
All this bill offers is more delay, more concessions to Duke Energy and more loopholes for Duke Energy to evade cleanup.
This Duke Bailout Bill is a betrayal of the North Carolina people who participated in good faith in the process and followed the rules established by the legislature in 2014. Public participation led to the conclusion that the law and science requires Duke Energy to excavate its coal ash from its leaking, unlined pits. Duke Energy didn’t like the results and so today the the North Carolina Senate turned its back on the people and clean water and threw into the trash can public process, facts, science, and the law.
For years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has represented the following citizens groups in court to clean up Duke Energy’s coal ash pollution from all 14 leaking Duke Energy sites across North Carolina: Appalachian Voices, Cape Fear Riverwatch, Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Dan River Basin Association, MountainTrue, Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation, Roanoke River Basin Association, Sierra Club, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Waterkeeper Alliance, Winyah Rivers Foundation, and Yadkin Riverkeeper.