This week, the North Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (NCMA) shared a summary of JLF’s Jon Sanders’ research brief on coal ash. The brief goes over how, in 2014, Gov. Roy Cooper argued that ratepayers should not be on the hook for the cost of coal ash cleanups around the state, yet, in 2019, now-Gov. Cooper approved a deal between the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Duke Energy that contains no protections for ratepayers.
The cost of cleanup is estimated to be approximately $8 to $9 billion over the next 15 to 20 years. In his article, Jon Sanders wonders when did Governor Cooper change his mind about who should bear the burden of cleanup costs and why. He asks, how can the cost of cleanup be unreasonable and unfair to recover from ratepayers in 2014, but not so in 2020 after the Cooper Administration adds on extra cleanup costs?