NC Governor Gets $58M Just as His Admin Approves Permit

Roy Cooper will get to decide all by himself who benefits from massive slush fund created for pipeline (permit) through state…


Roy Cooper/Photo by NCDOTcommunications (CC)

(Ana Michaels, Liberty Headlines) An agreement made between North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and the companies involved in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, which will run through state, includes a controversial $58 million payment.

The lack of details about who controls the money and how it would be spent has led to accusations of the money being a “slush fund” for Cooper’s use and questions about the agreement being a pay-to-play scenario.

On January 26th, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a critical water permit for the project.

The same day, Cooper’s office announced the agreement with Dominion Power and Duke Energy.

Only four days after the pipeline project was announced, Lee Lilley was hired by Cooper as his new legislative director.

The timing of his hire raised questions as more was learned about his past employment.

Lilley was a registered lobbyist to Congress in 2017, and his client was Dominion Resources –one of the major investors in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Statements made to media on February 6th by Cooper’s spokesman, Ford Porter, indicated the governor had no intention of letting the General Assembly near the $58 million.


The fund, according to the governor’s office, is supposed to fund mitigation of the environmental impacts of the pipeline, Porter told news outlet WRAL.

In an earlier report by WRAL, Democrat state Rep. Pricey Harrison indicated the fund’s creation was a “condition” for the project receiving the needed permit – lending more credence to the idea this was a possible pay-to-play situation.

Governor Cooper’s office characterized the slush fund as a “voluntary contribution.