Burrowing mole van der Vaart finally quits his self-appointed job at DEQ

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And complains about behavior he's guilty of himself:

The former secretary of the state Department of Environmental Quality has resigned from the state agency after being put on paid administrative leave nearly a month ago. Donald van der Vaart, who was first in command under the Republican administration of former Gov. Pat McCrory, sent a letter to his successor as secretary, Michael Regan, on Tuesday saying he would retire after 23 years.

“The state has traditionally found it difficult to recruit young people without the added specter of politicization of science and law,” van der Vaart said in closing his letter. “Sadly, that specter is now clearly visible.”

If you want to see a prime example of science being politicized, here's van der Vaart attacking Roy Cooper and promoting Pat McCrory when it was only rumored that Cooper was thinking of a Gubernatorial bid:

In a puzzling move, Cooper is putting his support behind the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which is estimated to cost consumers and businesses $41 billion or more per year. According to Energy Ventures Analysis, the average North Carolina household’s electricity and gas bill would increase by $434 in 2020, a 22 percent hike over current rates. Cooper, in essence, supports the takeover of North Carolina’s energy-generation system.

We do not share Cooper’s belief that the federal EPA is the best guardian of North Carolina’s economic and environmental interests. We prefer to allow North Carolina to continue to build on its significant record of environmental protection.

Consider that under Gov. Pat McCrory’s leadership, North Carolina’s air quality is among the best in the Southeast. We have one of the nation’s cleanest and most efficient power plant fleets. Coal ash is being cleaned up after decades of neglect, and we have become a national leader in renewable energy.

He drops Cooper's name seven times in that hit-piece, just to make sure people get the message. Here's more from Thomas Mills on van der Vaart's role as McCrory's "political attack dog" back then:

North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Donald van der Vaart seems to be shifting the mission of his department. Instead of protecting the environment he’s taken on the role of political attack dog and defender of industry. At a time when the General Assembly is stripping away common sense regulations that have been working for years, he’s trying to remove as much federal oversight as possible. In the process, he’s trying to put Attorney General Roy Cooper in a bad light.

First, van der Vaart announced that the McCrory administration was opposing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Then, he penned an op-ed that blasted Cooper for supporting the plan. The op-ed is a thinly veiled political hit job designed to help van der Vaart’s boss, Pat McCrory, by defining Cooper as a tool of the federal government opposing state control.

This week, van der Vaart is at it again. He’s urging Cooper to fight new federal rules that protect our water. Again, the public nature of van der Vaart’s actions scream politics, not governing.

Part of me sort of dreads what mischief Donald might get into "advising" the EPA, but another part of me is relieved he's no longer infesting DEQ. I'm sure Michael Regan (and pretty much everybody else at DEQ) will be sleeping better without listening for the scratching sound behind the walls. Do moles do that also, or is it just rats? Whatever, dude is gone.

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