WASHINGTON, DC —In response to the news that federal authorities have launched an investigation into North Carolina's environmental agency following a massive coal ash spill on the Dan River, Greenpeace released the following statement from Energy Campaign Director Gabriel Wisniewski:
"It's about time someone took a hard look at the disturbingly cozy relationship that Duke Energy has been buying from its regulators in North Carolina and elsewhere. The need for a federal investigation is sad, but not surprising. Corporate polluters have a history of using campaign contributions to buy pliancy from their regulators, and Duke Energy's love affair with North Carolina regulators goes back many years. But the stubborn refusal of regulators under Gov. McCrory's administration even to pretend to protect the North Carolinians they were sworn to serve has set a new low over the last two years.
"This isn't just about coal ash. Last year, legislators and Gov. McCrory attempted to pass a bill that would have fired en masse all environmental and utility regulators, so the governor (a 28-year Duke Energy veteran) could appoint new ones, effectively removing even the pretense of responsible government oversight. 
"People in North Carolina deserve a government that will protect them from coal ash disasters, constant rate hikes and a free reign to pollute from the largest utility in the country."