Francis Deluca

Obsessed with Roy: Francis de Luca files complaint about ACP permits

The revelation came to him as he was throwing darts at a Cooper poster:

A challenge filed Tuesday against Governor Roy Cooper’s Department of Environmental Quality alleges that the four permits issued by the state for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline “did not meet proper procedure resulting in harm to water quality.”

The petition was filed by Francis DeLuca, former head of the conservative Civitas Institute, and contests permits and approvals recently issued by DEQ to the ACP project, including the federal Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification which is the primary approval required for the project to move forward. The petition also challenges the sedimentation control permit and storm water permits in Nash and Cumberland counties.

You know, when the GOP took over the General Assembly back in 2011, one of the first things they did was go on a "listening tour" to determine just how dissatisfied developers and industry people were over DENR's permitting process. And of course, they were able to find numerous complainers, who told "horror" stories about having to wait 12-18 months to get their permits approved. Ironically, the GOP's "solution" was to cut funding for DENR (later DEQ) by 40%, and bury the remaining regulators in paperwork like economic impact assessments. But setting that aside for the moment, my point is that Civitas and JLF have been moaning about over-regulation by environmental officials for years, complaining about how those delays stifle growth and prosperity and such. But now Fran de Luca is upset because the permits were granted too quickly? There's a word for that, it's called "Hypocrisy." Here are excerpts of a letter JLF signed off on just a few years ago:

Civitas files lawsuit to derail environmental management

And Fran DeLuca's timing couldn't be more inappropriate:

The head of a conservative-leaning group says money paid annually by pork producers from a 2000 settlement with North Carolina must go to public schools rather than grants designed to improve the environment.

Francis DeLuca of the Civitas Institute sued Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper in Wake County court Tuesday. DeLuca wants a judge to force Cooper — also running for governor this fall — to stop the payments of up to $2 million and to recoup those funds back to 2014. The complaint cites a 2005 state Supreme Court decision in its arguments.

The settlement with Smithfield came in the wake of Hurricane Floyd, and the horrific environmental disaster that resulted from the flooding of hog farms and lagoons. Sound familiar? I don't know if Art Pope and Colonel Francis are doing this to set up an 11th hour television ad saying, "Why doesn't Roy Cooper want our precious children to have money for their schools?" or something equally noxious, or if they're doing this as part of their crusade against environmental protection in general. But whatever their reasons, the settlement itself is very straightforward, and re-purposing those dollars could violate and nullify the agreement:

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