Over six weeks of negotiation, a deal to bring $57.8 million to North Carolina as part of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project morphed from an agreement between the pipeline partnership and the state to a deal between the partnership and Gov. Roy Cooper.
Draft versions of the memorandum of understanding laying out terms for the mitigation fund show changes handwritten in the margins by William McKinney, Cooper’s in-house attorney, as the deal was worked up in December and January.
Instead of the money flowing to the state, it would go into an escrow fund designated by the governor. Repeated references to “the state of North Carolina” were edited to “the governor of the state of North Carolina.”
The reason? Cooper and his administration don’t trust the Republican-controlled General Assembly.