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.

Sub-categories

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.

Case Against Backroom Deal-making Continues — News Release from NC WARN

Today NC WARN filed a response to the electric utilities and the Utilities Commission’s Public Staff in our pending request to end the longstanding practice of backroom deal-making by the regulators and regulated.

NC WARN Sues State, Regulators for Pro-Duke Energy Laws — News Release from NC WARN

In a case that goes to the heart of Duke Energy’s corporate business plan, climate protection nonprofit NC WARN today filed a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina and its utility regulators over two state laws passed 50 years apart.

Environmental group fighting Duke Energy plant sues state - News & Observer

$98 million bond to appeal a Duke Energy power plant permit gets legal challenge - The Charlotte Observer

How to fight the power company — Scalawag

In 2015, Duke Energy’s state-sanctioned monopoly in North Carolina faced a pair of very different challenges from two vastly different communities. In western North Carolina, thousands of people – mostly White, middle-class, with little organizing experience--turned out in droves to attack Duke Energy’s plans for their beloved mountains. Two hundred miles away in Greensboro, a Piedmont church – serving a mostly Black, low-income community with a history of activism and advocacy stretching back decades – simply put solar panels on its roof.

Jim Warren: Enormous Stakes — The News & Observer

We’re asking the NC Court of Appeals to require an open, careful debate over Duke’s project. If Duke Energy is so uncertain about its case for the plant, its shareholders should bear any risks of proceeding with construction. And we’ll continue speaking out when state officials favor Duke Energy instead of the public interest.

Court Appeal of Church-Solar Test Case Ruling & Penalty Underway — News Release from NC WARN

NC WARN is moving the test case over our selling solar power to a Greensboro church to the courts, where we seek to overturn the NC Utilities Commission’s pro-Duke Energy ruling and a truly odd penalty it levied against us.

Order, Penalty in Solar-Church Test Case vs Duke Energy — News Release from NC WARN

Late today, the NC Utilities Commission ruled for Duke Energy in the test case where NC WARN has been selling solar power to the Faith Community Church in Greensboro.
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blackburn-homeThe John O. Blackburn Award
Read the inspiring stories of Dr. Steve Wing, Joyce and Rev. Nelson Johnson, and other recipients of NC WARN's Blackburn Award.

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