Monday numbers

Monday numbers

- in Fitzsimon File


183—number of days since a massive coal ash spill at an abandoned Duke Energy power plant near Eden contaminated the Dan River with 39,000 tons of toxic coal ash and 24 million gallons of ash-contaminated wastewater (Appalachian Voices)

33—number of unlined coal ash pits that Duke Energy has at 14 sites throughout North Carolina (Associated Press: “NC House approves Duke coal ash cleanup bill” – July 3, 2014)

100—percentage of these sites that are currently leaching contaminants into surrounding soil and groundwater (“Unlined and Dangerous: Duke Energy’s 32 Coal Ash Ponds in North Carolina Pose a Threat to Groundwater” National Geographic, March 5, 2014)

100—number of days since Governor Pat McCrory proposed a “coal ash action plan” and called on legislative leaders to work with him to enact it (“Governor McCrory Outlines Comprehensive Coal Ash Action Plan,” Press Release, Office of the Governor, April 16, 2014)

88—number of days since Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said responding to the coal ash spill was one of the top priorities for the 2014 General Assembly session  (“Berger: Drilling, easing regulations, teacher pay on NC Legislature’s to-do list, News & Observer, May 14, 2014)

82—number of days since House Speaker Thom Tillis said coal ash legislation was a top priority for the 2014 General Assembly session (“Speaker sets legislative agenda for state House, WRAL-TV, May 14, 2014)

82—number of days since the 2014 session of the General Assembly session began (N.C. General Assembly)

2—number of days since the General Assembly concluded work in its summer session, with the House recessing until August 14 and the Senate returning November 17 (Ibid)

0—number of bills addressing the coals ash crisis passed by the General Assembly since lawmakers convened for the summer session May 14 (Ibid)

3—number of days since members of the Senate blamed House negotiators for failing to reach a final agreement on coal ash legislation (“N.C. legislature puts coal ash action on hold, Greensboro News & Record, August 2, 2014)

3—number of days since members of the House blamed Senate negotiators for failing to reach a final agreement on coal ash legislation (Ibid)

3—number of days since Governor Pat McCrory issued an executive order calling for cleanup plans at leaking coal ash ponds and surveys at area drinking wells (Ibid)

3—number of days since environmentalists pointed out that McCrory’s executive order merely restates authority state already has under existing law (Ibid)

10—number of registered lobbyists Duke Energy employs in North Carolina state government in 2014 (N.C. Secretary of State Lobbyist registration website)

1.6 million—amount in dollars of combined political contributions from Duke Energy to the campaign committees of Governor McCrory since 2008 and the outside political groups that helped his gubernatorial campaigns (“As Coal Ash Controversy Intensified, Duke Gave Another $437,000 to Help GOP Causes in 2013,” Democracy North Carolina, February 14, 2014)

28—number of years McCrory worked for Duke prior to his election in 2012 (“Institute Index: Duke Energy coal ash spill latest in ongoing regulatory disaster,” Institute for Southern Studies)

Hand Image: Appalachian Voices

About the author

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina.