Setting the wrong example:
Mr. Rumpler of Environment America says he worries cash-strapped states would feel compelled to "weaken their standards and endanger public health and the environment in a bid to get more business coming into their state." State legislation could also be particularly subject to changes in administrations.
The Duke Energy spill, for one, has focused media attention on North Carolina's Republican governor, Pat McCrory, a former Duke Energy employee. He appointed businessman John Skvarla to head the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Secretary Skvarla views industry leaders such as Duke Energy as "customers," according to several former DENR officials who say they quit because they were kept from doing their jobs.
The sad part is, people like John Skvarla actually believe they're serving the best interests of the public by giving industry a free hand. It's not just a minor character flaw for the person in charge of DENR, it's a major one, which is why the US DOJ and the EPA are being drawn into NC's politics. And why the rest of the nation is looking on in disbelief.