DENR is unfit. Is de-delegation the answer?

John Skvarla likes to joke that he was surprised as anyone when Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory named him to lead the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Of course, that's total bullshit. Skvarla had been lobbying for more than a year to land the job, for which he is spectacularly unqualified. His mission? Find a way to gut environmental protections so vultures (like him) can make money trying to fix things after the fact. And that's just what he's doing.

Problem is, almost everything Skvarla is doing undermines federal guidelines for environmental stewardship. He is methodically destroying water and air protections, leaving North Carolina at the mercy of business interests whose only agenda is profit taking.

The latest move to lay out the red carpet for Titan Cement is but the latest in a crush of irresponsible, short-sighted actions that threaten North Carolina's present and future.

It's time for the federal government to step in and rule that DENR, the Governor, and the General Assembly are unfit to carry out the responsibilities that have been delegated to them. Just as the feds step in when a bank is failing, they have the authority to step in when a state agency is failing. And if any state agency is failing in every way to do its job, that agency is the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The state of North Carolina has shown itself unfit, unable, and unwilling to meet the minimum requirements for environmental protection in accordance with federal guidelines. Americans cannot trust our state to do its part in preserving our country's natural resources. It's time for the federal government to take back the responsibility for environmental stewardship in North Carolina.


Minnesota did it

This was for a specific set of required regulatory actions that the state was not fulfilling. That standard could apply to the entire DENR organization.

NOTE: I realize that there is an army of great people working at DENR. The problem is not with the staff, it's with the incompetent leadership.

Skvarla's marching orders

are to put his department out of business by getting rid of much of the work it's supposed to do to help and protect people, and then privatize what remains.

Coincidentally, those are Queen Aldona's marching orders too.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

A message to DENR and DHHS staffers

I've talked with a few state employees that are really fed up with the direction things are going.

In some departments in particular, the hand-picked Republican leadership in the McCrory administration are managing the departments in such a way that staff aren't able to carry out the very missions they were hired for.

I know many of you feel conflicted. Many may just decide to follow orders and "wait it out" until the political winds change.

But think about this very carefully. The McCrory administration is deliberately sabotaging the public service mission of these departments. They're deliberately making the department _not_ work for the citizens of North Carolina to prove a point - private business can do it better.

If you're waiting for things to get better, they probably won't by the time you retire. Even if McCrory is swept out of office, he and his cronies are trying to do put in place policies and actions that can't easily be undone with the stroke of a pen when a new administration comes to Raleigh.

If you've been hesitant about coming forward to a reporter or Federal investigators with something you know or information you have access to and you're hesitating because of your immediate job or career, remember that McCrory, Pope and key figures in the legislature are trying to make sure you won't have a job in a few years.

I've seen these kinds of things before. They're very common in the business world when a corporation or equity firm buys out a company. Your division is the "dead weight" that the people in charge want to get rid of. They don't care how essential you or your department are - they're just looking at a "bottom line".

The McCrory administration has already broken a fundamental trust with you as an employee - they're not allowing you to do your job.

Think about that when you go back to work on Monday. It might be easier to "get along" and just stay quiet now. It's what they're counting on. And they know they've already screwed you.