Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday weighed in on the TV ads that have been pounding him over coal ash pollution, sponsored by a national environmental organization.
The theme of the spots has been that new regulations the governor signed are too lax. They conclude with the message that the governor “has coal ash on his hands,” showing an image of dirty palms.
"I think it's just a total waste of money," McCrory told reporters during a tour of SAS in Cary. "They ought to be spending their money to clean up the environment ... not on ridiculous, negative political TV ads."
"But," he added, "the TV stations are making good money on it."
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The ads also inspired some ribbing from SAS CEO Jim Goodnight.
"Did you get that coal ash off your hands?" Goodnight asked. "You're not messing up this building."
This year the first comprehensive regulation of coal ash in the country became law without the governor’s signature. It sets out a timetable for cleaning up coal ash ponds in the state, but some environmental groups say it’s not enough.
An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the governor signed the bill. He objected to a provsion in the bill that gave him less authority to appoint members to an oversight board than he wanted, and let the bill become law without his signature.