Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pat and Duke, Sitting in a Tree ... K I S S I N G!

Date on which news broke that the U.S. Justice Department launched a criminal investigation into the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) following Duke Energy's massive coal ash spill into the Dan River: 2/13/2014
Month in which DENR's chief lawyer will reportedly appear before a federal grand jury looking into the matter: 3/2014
Number of times over the past year that environmental groups have tried to use the federal Clean Water Act's citizen lawsuit provision to force Duke Energy to clean up its coal ash pits, only to have their efforts blocked by DENR: 3
Under a settlement DENR reached last year with Duke Energy over its coal ash pits, amount the agency fined the Charlotte, N.C.-based company while requiring no cleanup: $99,112
Given Duke Energy's 2012 operating revenues of $19.6 billion, the fine's dollar equivalent for a person earning a $60,000 salary: $.30
Number of plaintiffs in the environmental groups' lawsuits that DENR consulted before negotiating the settlement: 0
Of the 5,000 public comments submitted about the settlement, number that supported DENR's plan: 1
Date on which DENR, after coming under sharp criticism following the spill, asked a judge to reconsider the settlement: 2/10/2014
Number of years that North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) worked for Duke Energy before retiring in 2007 to run for the state's top office: 28
Minimum value of Duke Energy stock McCrory reported owning last year, though he has refused to disclose his exact holdings in the company: $10,000
Amount in direct contributions to McCrory's two gubernatorial campaigns made by employees, former employees, spouses, and political action committees of Duke Energy and its Progress Energy subsidiary from 2008 through 2012: $332,836
Amount Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good contributed to McCrory's successful 2012 campaign:$4,000
Amount the Republican Governors Association (RGA) spent supporting McCrory during his 2008 and 2012 gubernatorial bids with "independent" advertising and electioneering: $10.4 million
Amount Duke Energy and Progress Energy contributed to the RGA from July 2008 to November 2012: $761,800
Date on which consumer and environmental watchdog groups, citing McCrory's ties to Duke Energy, called on the governor to recuse himself from appointing members of the N.C. Utilities Commission, a request he ignored: 1/4/2013
Year in which McCrory, while working for Duke Energy and serving as a Charlotte council member and mayor pro tem, chaired a council meeting and voted on a matter in a way that benefited his employer's bottom line, sparking a case that went to the state Supreme Court, which allowed the council's decision to stand though a dissenting opinion from a Republican justice raised concerns about McCrory's conflict of interest: 1994
Year in which McCrory, by then serving as Charlotte's mayor while still working for Duke Energy, went to Washington, D.C. to testify as mayor against federal clean air regulations for the city that would have cost his employer an estimated $600 million: 1997
Date on which an attorney with the Waterkeeper Alliance, a clean-water advocacy group, discovered an ongoing leak of coal ash into the Dan River from Duke Energy's ash pit upstream of where this month's massive spill occurred: 2/6/2014
Number of times the arsenic concentration in the newly discovered leak exceeds the human health standard: 18
Date on which DENR officials denied knowledge of any ongoing leaks at the site when questioned at a public meeting in Danville, Va., a city that draws its drinking water from the river: 2/11/2014
Number of additional details DENR officials requested about the location or character of the ongoing leak, which violates the federal Clean Water Act: 0
Date on which Duke Energy, under DENR's watch, began vacuuming spilled coal ash out of the river and pumping it back into the still-leaking pit: 2/12/2014

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