As if we need any more proof of Gov. McCrory's long-standing ties to Duke Energy, a report released Monday by The National Institute on Money and State Politics, a nonpartisan nonprofit, revealed that between 2000 and 2012 Duke contributed three times as much money to the McCrory campaign than it gave to five sitting governors combined.
McCrory, who worked for Duke Energy for 28 years before his 2008 gubernatorial run, also claimed the lion's share of Duke executives' contributions - $82,000 of a total $94,750 given to four governors. Duke's PAC gave a total of $30,000 to five sitting governors, with McCrory carving out a $16,000 slice.
Mike Pence (R-Indiana) came in a distant second, receiving $13,000 from Duke executives and PACs. McCrory received $98,000.
Duke's coal initiatives are under fire in Indiana as well, where a coalition of environmental and citizens' groups called on state regulators in March to launch a formal investigation into the energy company's Edwardsport power plant, which converts coal to synthetic natural gas. The plant has been plagued by leaking valves and cracked pipes since it opened in June 2013, and the groups say Duke is charging an average household an extra $12.67 per month for costs related to its failures.
N.C. households could also soon foot Duke's coal ash clean up bill. Duke's N.C. President Paul Newton told a state legislative committee in a presentation Tuesday that removing all of the spilled coal ash would take decades and cost up to $10 billion, with those additional costs passed on to customers. Newton proposed leaving much of its 100 million tons of coal ash in place and covering it with giant tarps topped with soil to save some costs, a move that environmental groups fear could threaten land and waterways with harmful chemicals.