More minutes of fame for John Skvarla

Salon joins the fray, with a spot-on headline:

Meet the environmental "regulator" who hates science

In 2012, North Carolina’s newly elected Republican governor, Pat McCrory, announced the appointment of a businessman named John Skvarla to head the state’s environmental regulatory agency. For several reasons, the move worried environmentalists. Skvarla has expressed doubts about the science behind climate change and has peddled the obscure theory that crude oil is an infinite, renewable resource. He has insisted that the agency he now leads has been long regarded as the primary obstacle to economic growth in the state. Last summer he stated that if environmentalists were to get their way “we’d live in lean-tos and wear loincloths.”

And the day before assuming the leadership of the agency (N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, or DENR), Skvarla said he knew little about coal ash pollution, an issue dear to environmentalists in North Carolina.

During the course of 2013, Skvarla’s agency interceded to stop multiple citizen lawsuits against Duke Energy for its mishandling of the coal ash, despite outcry from environmentalists.



Skvarla will muddle through this mess and Pat McCrory will one day say, Heckuva job, Johnny." And together they will continue to wreck havoc on North Carolina's environment until 2017, when a new governor takes charge.

Email trail at DENR

Internal emails released this week reveal that officials with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have been concerned about coal ash ponds at Duke Energy sites for years. The Southern Environmental Law Center obtained the documents as part of its effort to close coal ash ponds throughout the state. The roughly 400 pages of emails reveal employees at the state agency were concerned about storm water runoff at six sites owned by Duke Energy.