The Hendersonville Times-News reported Wednesday that the controversy surrounding Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds spilled over into the race for N.C. Senate District 48 this week, with Democratic challenger Rick Wood denouncing Sen. Tom Apodaca for taking campaign contributions from the utility.
Wood said Apodaca, a Republican leader first elected in 2002, has received 25 contributions totaling $65,500 over the last 11 years from political action committees representing Duke and Progress Energy. The two companies merged in 2012 to become the nation’s largest utility.
Last week, Apodaca advocated closing Duke’s coal ash lagoons, including one in Arden near the French Broad River. Apodaca’s push for removing the coal ash ponds came after a ruptured pipe at Duke’s plant in Eden spilled 50,000 to 82,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River earlier this month.