McCrory fields questions about coal ash clean-up

Posted by Lynn Bonner on March 11, 2014 

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Gov. Pat McCrory talks to a group of students and faculty at St. David’s School in Raleigh Monday. McCrory came to the school to talk to students from the Senior Seminar group, where questions were raised about the Dan River coal ash spill and teacher pay.

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Duke Energy’s report to the state on what it will do to make its coal ash sites safe will be made public, Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday. The report is due Saturday.

In a brief Q&A following an equally brief Council of State meeting, McCrory once again declined to say whether he thought Duke Energy should push the cost of cleaning up coal ash sites on to customers.

A spill discovered Feb. 2 sent tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River from a Duke Energy holding pond. The spill has put pressure on the company to remove the ash from its other ponds. Duke has multiple ash pits at 14 sites. The company’s CEO said last week that it would seek to recover costs of cleaning up those pits through customer rates. The N.C. Utilities Commission would have to approve. Duke has said the company and its stockholders will pay the costs of cleaning up the Dan River.

“I’m going to let the process work out by law through the utilities commission,”said McCrory, who worked for the power company for 29 years. “I think we ought to keep politics out of this and let the process that’s part of our normal structure go through its normal process.”

Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat and likely candidate for governor in 2016, said he would oppose an effort to have customers pay for the clean up.

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