Builders and Puppets: GOP environmental appointees lack qualifications and have conflicts of interest

We'll start with one of Art Pope's golden boys:

Clean Water Management Trust Fund: Former Henderson County commissioner Renee Kumor was appointed by Moore to a term expiring on July 1, 2020; and Wilmington builder Robin Hackney of New Hanover County was appointed by Berger to a term expiring June 30, 2020.

Berger also named writer and commentator Troy Kickler of Wake County to fill the unexpired term of Johnny Martin. Kickler’s term runs until June 30, 2018. The Clean Water Management Trust Fund provides grants to conservation nonprofits, local governments and state agencies for the protection of surface waters.

You may remember Troy Kickler from such notable history lessons such as "What would your great-great-great-grandfather think?" and "No drinking tea at this Tea Party!" You're right, I made those up. But he is a historian and not a hydrologist or water quality specialist, although it's rumored he has a Brita water filter. This is not Troy's first hitch on the board, the GOP actually made him Chairman back in 2013, to oversee their scrambling of its mission:

Board members with the newly reconstituted state Clean Water Management Trust Fund approved $16.26 million this week to protect the state’s water supplies and several significant natural heritage areas in North Carolina.

The Dec. 18 meeting marked the first time the board awarded grants since recent legislation reshaped the trust fund’s mission to focus on protecting the state’s water supplies and natural heritage rather than wastewater improvements or conventional stormwater projects. During the recent legislative session, the state’s Natural Heritage Trust Fund was eliminated and its fund balance was moved into the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Funds awarded this week by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund’s board came from monies available from both funding mechanisms.

Dr. Troy Kickler, the chairman of the trust fund, added:“The newly reappointed board is a group of dedicated individuals. During the prior two meetings, the board’s decisions have shown a commitment to protecting clean water, preserving our state’s natural and historic heritage, and helping provide buffers around military bases within our state.”

Bolding mine, because anybody who understands even the slightest bit about NC's water quality issues knows that wastewater discharges and stormwater runoff are the main culprits contributing to our water being impaired. And WTF historic heritage has to do with clean water management I'll never know.

And on the "conflict of interest" front, you have developers making land use decisions:

Coastal Resources Commission: Wilmington developer Robert High was appointed for a term expiring on June 30, 2018, to fill the unexpired term of John Snipes II. In addition, the term of current Coastal Resources Commission member Larry Baldwin of Carteret County was corrected, expiring in 2019 instead of 2018 under a previous bill.

The Coastal Resources Commission sets policies for the state’s Coastal Management Program and adopts rules for both the Coastal Area Management Act and the Dredge and Fill Act. The commission designates areas of environmental concern, adopts rules and policies for coastal development within those areas and certifies local land-use plans.

High has been building and partnering on commercial development projects all along the coast, including some riverfront luxury resort condominiums, and putting him in a position where he can shape the rules and policies affecting his own personal business operations is so unethical it needs a new category. It's not just a fox in the henhouse thing, it's the damn fox building the henhouse right outside his kitchen door. And yes, foxes have kitchens, too. ;/

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