If people in the McCrory administration had as much integrity as they do chutzpah, we'd be home free. But sad to say, it ain't so. Case in point? John Skvarla's comments about his oh-so-close partnering relationships with environmental organizations who are working to clean up all the messes made by Duke Energy.
John Skvarla, the secretary of the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said Wednesday that the Southern Environmental Law Center is a “partner” in DENR’s lawsuits aimed at protecting water against pollution documented at power plant sites owned by Duke Energy.
“We consider the citizens group to be on our side of the table,” Skvarla said during a news conference. Court transcripts paint a different picture.
They show that an attorney representing DENR resisted efforts made by conservationist groups, represented by the SELC, to join as partners in the state's pending legal action against Duke. Also, in a letter written by Skvarla to the Journal in response to a story in November about threats posed by coal ash statewide, Skvarla described the SELC as a lawsuit-thirsty outfit that should not be allowed to set state policy. The November story, citing conservation groups, said DENR sued Duke in 2013 over federal and state clean-water law violations at the company’s 14 power plant in part to thwart similar legal action that the SELC had intended to file.
“In order to keep the donations flowing to meet payroll, it is useful to create the illusion that there is an enemy to be vanquished,” Skvarla wrote as he highlighted DENR’s success in thwarting the SELC’s attempt to sue the city of Thomasville over sewer issues.
I have to say that I feel terrible for the poor people who have to work under Skvarla at DENR. It must be totally demoralizing.