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NC Politicians on the Take from ACP Corporate Partners

While influence is a tricky thing to measure, the regular pumping of donations to state and federal legislators and other elected officials by the fossil fuel industry is a majorobstacle to a clean energy transition. And here in North Carolina, one doesn’t have to look farther than the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) as a prime example.

Demand for natural gas is flat or declining. It is entirely possible to meet all our energy needs in NC through renewable  power, such as solar and wind. Not to mention the hype of job creation from the project is gross exaggeration, as only 18 permanent jobs in NC would be created! Why, then, did at least 20 NC Representatives and both Governors McCrory and Cooper roll out the red carpet for Duke and Dominion’s fracked gas pipeline? A quick search on the NC State Board of Elections website provides an answer.

As far back as 2013, Duke and Dominion began lining the pockets of NC legislators representing the counties in the path of the proposed pipeline route with thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Governor Cooper, who celebrated the permit giving the go-ahead for pipeline construction with a message about economic development, was receiving campaign funding from Dominion in November of 2013, long before the gubernatorial election!

Senator Angela Bryant, who represented three of the ACP-impacted counties up until her resignation, also had received contributions in the thousands from both Duke and Dominion back in 2013, and Representative Garland Pierce for Robeson County has accumulated a whopping $13,100 from both companies dating back to this time.

You can literally take a pen to a map and trace substantial campaign contributions from Duke and Dominion down the path of the eight ACP- impacted counties: Sen. Erica Smith in Northampton, Rep. Jeff Collins in Nash, Rep.  Jean-Farmer Butterfield in Wilson, Rep. Susan Martin in Wilson, Rep. Ken Goodman and Rep. Brenden Jones in Robeson, and many others – have all been buttered up by campaign contributions from builders of the Atlantic Coast fracked gas pipeline, putting their campaign war chests  before the welfare of their own communities and the environment!

Clean Water for NC advocates for state representatives to prioritize the community health, climate, justice and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits, and calls on current candidates to refuse any contributions from oil, gas, and coal industries.

If you want to check if fossil fuel money is going into your representatives’ pockets, you can follow Democracy NC’s easy step-by-step guide to reviewing campaign finance reports. Happy hunting!

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