We've known this all along, but now there's actually proof.
Emails between the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Duke Energy show the state's environmental regulators were in talks with Duke before "intervening in efforts by citizens groups trying to sue the company over pollution leeching from its coal ash dumps," the AP reports.
As a result, DENR intervened in the lawsuit and negotiated a settlement where Duke would pay a $99,100 fine and not have to stop coal ash pollution.
As the Catabaw Riverkeeper put it on Twitter: "Would be like football offensive coordinator checking w/ other team's defensive coordinator on what game plan they would like."
The "citizen groups" include the Southern Environmental Law Center, who filed notice of intent last year to sue Duke over its treatment of coal ash. The Law Center obtained the emails and gave them to the AP.
Read the full story here.