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State Rep. Chuck McGrady got an important cameo in this week's story by the Associated Press on efforts by Duke Energy to minimize the utility's cost and exposure from coal ash pollution.
The AP, in a story printed today in the Asheville Citizen-Times and the Hendersonville Times-News and around the state, broke the news that a bill passed last year helped reduce the utility's cost for coal ash cleanup. http://www.citizen-times.com/viewart/20140317/NEWS01/303170058/GOP-bill-protects-Duke-s-coal-ash The AP reported that Duke lobbyists were able to insert a 330-word section into a regulatory reform bill passed overwhelmingly by the Republican-led Legislature and praised by Gov. Pat McCrory as a bureaucracy-taming law that would create jobs and boost the economy.
McGrady, a former summer camp owner and national Sierra Club president who has taken pro-conservation positions for years, was one of only two Republicans in the state House to vote no on the bill. Duke's lobbyists, he said, had spoken to him about the change in the groundwater contamination rules.
"They said it was a fairness issue, that they shouldn't be held responsible for the migration of pollution on their own site, that whatever costs they would need to bear should be in direct relationship of the migration of that pollution off their sites," McGrady told the AP.
No word on whether McGrady, who sometimes endures the wrath of conservative elements of his party, is claiming any "told ya so's" now that the Duke Energy story has turned into the Duke power story, as in political power.