Membership has its pricks:
Among the groups that had representatives in attendance were the Consumer Energy Alliance, the Center for Offshore Safety and the Institute for Energy Research. These groups include members of the petroleum and related industries.
Reporters were allowed to attend Gov. Pat McCrory's closing remarks, after most of the other participants had left.
His staff told reporters and representatives of environmental groups that they couldn't come in because of concerns that their attendance might arouse allegations of conflict of interest in the permit process. And attendance by special-interest groups funded by the petroleum industry would not?
It's no big surprise McCrory's bungling staff would interpret "conflict of interest" in such an ass-backwards manner. The only conflict of interest that would have arisen by having reporters and environmentalists in attendance would be a conflict between the public's best interests and the greed of the industry and its Republican puppets.