GOP now wants federal prosecutors to probe pipeline deal


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Republicans continue to attack Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper over a $58 million agreement his office reached with utilities poised to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Now, the GOP hopes their criticism will get the attention of federal prosecutors.

State Republican Party leaders asked Tuesday for a federal investigation of whether Cooper broke the law with the memorandum of understanding, calling it possible extortion.

The memo said the money would have gone to environmental mitigation, economic development and renewable energy. Republicans say the agreement is fishy because it was announced the same day state regulators approved a key permit.

Cooper and a top environmental regulator say the permit and future payments had no connection. A Democratic Party spokesman said Tuesday’s allegations are just another GOP conspiracy theory.

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