Spaulding slams Cooper on coal ash

Posted by Craig Jarvis on March 26, 2014 

UPDATED Attorney General Roy Cooper has been getting slammed from Republicans for wading into the coal ash controversy. Now he’s getting hit from within his own party.

Ken Spaulding, a former state representative from Durham who is going to run in the Democratic primary for governor in 2016, on Wednesday blasted Cooper, who is also expected to run.

Cooper wrote a letter asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help ensure the state is safe from coal ash pollution. Spaulding noted Cooper’s office in 2009 advised state environmental regulators the source of groundwater pollution didn’t have to be immediately stopped at places like coal ash ponds. Earlier this month, a superior court judge disagreed.

“The audacity for him to send a letter when, if the correct advice had been given in 2009, there’s an excellent chance we would not have had any coal ash spills,” Spaulding said Thursday.

Spaulding also criticizes the attorney general for using the Dan River coal ash spill to raise campaign funds for his own presumed run for governor.

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