Since Governor Cooper was sworn in he has been challenging the General Assembly on almost every issue. From lawsuits to press conferences to even a few temper tantrums, Cooper has been asking all the questions. It seems, however, the tables have turned. A group of Senators from southeastern North Carolina are wondering what Governor Cooper and his administration knew about GenX and when they knew about it…
In a letter released shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday, seven senators asked a series of questions, including whether subpoenas have been served on the Governor’s Office or other state agencies in addition to the one known federal subpoena investigators sent to the state Department of Environmental Quality last month.
A spokesman for the governor said he’s not aware of subpoenas beyond that one.
Sens. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, Michael Lee, R-New Hanover, Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, Trudy Wade, R-Guilford, and Andy Wells, R-Catawba, also want to know the first time anyone in Cooper’s administration discussed GenX in the Cape Fear with Chemours, the company that produced the chemical, and why the company hasn’t been issued a wastewater violation under the Clean Water Act. They asked why the governor requested an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation, since DEQ Secretary Michael Regan has said Chemours did not break the law.
“What exactly is the SBI investigating?” the letter states.
It took the Governor 47 days from the announcement of the GenX controversy to make an appearance in southeastern North Carolina. Even after that problem was corrected other issues arose. Everyone knew that DEQ was going to need more money to deal with the GenX issue. The only way to get more money is for the general assembly to allocate it. Since the GA is not in session there are only a few chances to make a proposal and get the legislative body to vote on it. One of those opportunities came and went last week without any proposal in sight. The administration did finally release a formal proposal this week, but they now must wait till the end of the month before a vote can take place. This, of course, is not proof of anything nefarious going on within the Governor’s office. However, I do think it warrants questions. I’m glad these Senators are finally asking them.