Building people power for
climate & energy justice

Corporate Control of Government

Duke Energy and others in the energy industry consistently use deceptive public relations – and millions of customer dollars – to distort the debate over important decisions. Duke’s control over NC state government is significant. We must face this “inconvenient truth” in order to make the shift to clean, safe energy. This corporate influence has, in the words of Dr. James Hansen, wounded our democracy.

Particularly egregious are efforts by Duke, the Koch brothers and other industry powers to slow the growth of solar energy and, in North Carolina, to prevent competition from “third-party” providers of no-upfront-cost solar systems. Another good example of corporate power is the passage in some states of Construction Work in Progress laws that allow utilities to charge customers in advance for building expensive new plants that aren’t even needed.

Direct Appeals for Dialogue with Duke Energy

NC WARN has repeatedly reached out to Duke Energy executives, seeking to collaborate with them on moving away from obstructionism and toward a clean energy future. A few examples are listed here.

Sub-categories

Harvey Didn’t Come Out of the Blue. Now is the Time to Talk About Climate Change — The Intercept

Now is exactly the time to talk about climate change, and all the other systemic injustices — from racial profiling to economic austerity — that turn disasters like Harvey into human catastrophes.

Natural gas building boom fuels climate worries, enrages landowners – Center for Public Integrity

But Robert Howarth, an environmental biology professor at Cornell University, estimates that methane emissions produced by shale gas from wellhead to delivery could add up to a 12-percent leak rate — causing substantially more warming in the short term than coal. Howarth sees the rapid rise in gas development as a contributor to the recent spike in global temperatures, including record-breaking heat waves in 2015 and 2016. “The buildout of pipelines,” he said, “is a true climate disaster.”

Giant Rate Hike by Duke Energy Must Be Openly Debated, NC WARN tells Regulators and Attorney General — News Release from NC WARN

As Duke Energy Progress seeks 16.7% more from households, NC WARN is urging state regulators to break their pattern of settling rate cases and mergers with Duke Energy behind closed doors.

Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure From Utility Lobbyists — New York Times

Over the past six years, rooftop solar panel installations have seen explosive growth... That growth has come to a shuddering stop this year... A number of factors are driving the reversal... But the decline has also coincided with a concerted and well-funded lobbying campaign by traditional utilities, which have been working in state capitals across the country to reverse incentives for homeowners to install solar panels.

Solar Bill Bad Deal — Letter to the Editor of the News & Observer

By Rita Leadem. Regarding “Residents could get rooftop solar option” (June 7): Duke Energy and legislative leaders sold North Carolina a bag of beans with the Competitive Energy Solutions bill.

Duke Energy Executives Count on Climate-Wrecking Fracked Gas & Captive Regulators – but Little Solar or Wind – for Years to Come — News Release from NC WARN

If the NC Utilities Commission approves Duke Energy’s latest 15-year Integrated Resource Plan, it risks bankrupting North Carolina’s economy through costly overbuilding of high-risk power plants. And the utility will continue fouling our air and water while escalating the global climate crisis as one of the world’s largest carbon polluters.

Why none of this Charlotte solar developer’s planned 250MW worth of 2017 projects are in N.C. — Charlotte Business Journal

Pine Gate Renewables started operations at its first two solar farms just as the year ended and has secured financing to build 250 megawatts worth of projects this year. But none of that will be built in North Carolina. Pine Gate’s entire pipeline of N.C. projects has been eliminated by Duke Energy’s “stiffness test” for new solar project connections to its grid. Many in the industry contend this new requirement is grinding construction to a halt in the state.

Sensing Gains Ahead Under Trump, the Kochs Court Minorities — New York Times

The crowd that thronged a gospel concert last month in Richmond, Va., was in for an unusual Christmas treat. “Your energy bill’s paid!” the M.C. declared between soaring numbers from recording artists like VaShawn Mitchell and Charles Jenkins, calling to a young woman from the audience, who shrieked and started twirling on the floor. Though few in the crowd knew it, the concert had a powerful sponsor: Fueling U.S. Forward, a public relations group for fossil fuels funded by Koch Industries, the oil and petrochemicals conglomerate led by the ultraconservative billionaire brothers David H. and Charles G. Koch.

Durham nonprofit asks NC court to break Duke Energy’s power monopoly — News & Observer

Durham environmental advocacy group NC WARN is asking the state appeals court to break Duke Energy’s longstanding monopoly on electricity sales in the state by letting NC WARN resume selling solar-generated power directly to a Greensboro church.

Update on Solar-Church Test Case in NC Court of Appeals — News Release from NC WARN

NC WARN today filed a brief with the NC Court of Appeals in the test case over our sales of solar power to the Faith Community Church in Greensboro. We’re calling on the Court to overturn an April 15 NC Utilities Commission order that sided with Duke Energy and granted the utility’s request to heavily penalize NC WARN for selling solar electricity.
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Emergency Methane Action

Watch press conference at the Governor's office in Raleigh on June 15, 2017 featuring Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the NC NAACP.
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