Speak out for climate protection.
Duke Energy, Progress Energy and their political allies want to gamble tens of billions of public dollars to build (lucrative) coal and nuclear power plants. That path is already squandering our chances to avert climate catastrophe. Continuing disclosures prove that energy efficiency, cogeneration and renewable power can meet our growing population needs while cutting greenhouse gases and power bills.
The NC Utilities Commission will address the power companies’ forecasts for supply and demand – new power plants vs. clean, efficient energy:
Clean energy advocates and experts have won these debates before, but without public and media scrutiny, the politically appointed Commissioners usually rule for the power companies. It’s very important that you attend, give public testimony, and if able, show the commissioners the public is watching THEM, as our experts make winning arguments. If you can make the daytime legal hearing, please do! You will find it interesting.
If these new coal and nuclear-fired dinosaurs had to compete in open markets, they’d never be built. They’re alive due to regulated (protected) utility status and rates in the Southeast, billions in federal subsidies – and because in 2007 North Carolina’s legislators shifted the immense risks of new plants, including prepayment, onto customers.
Plants planned by Duke and Progress in the Carolinas have tripled in estimated cost while still on the drawing board – now around $35 billion. This could cost the average family over $12,000 in higher bills in just the first 10 years – less than half that amount could make every home energy efficient, add solar hot water, and rapidly reduce greenhouse gases.
☼ New industry data confirms a large surplus of regional electric capacity.
Data from the Southeastern Electric Reliability Council shows that Duke, Progress and other regional utilities plan to overbuild by more than 60 large power plants so they can increase sales to other regions with higher electricity rates. See more at the top of www.ncwarn.org
☼ Duke Energy’s own study shows Cliffside, new nukes aren’t needed.
A newly exposed 2007 study commissioned by Duke Energy proves the company could reduce nearly one-fifth of its electricity demand through cost-effective efficiency programs over 18 years. Progress Energy could achieve similar savings. But despite Duke CEO Rogers’ much-hyped “Save-a-watt” proposal, Duke’s filings project less than 2% energy savings over 20 years.
☼ Energy experts confirm that Cliffside, new nukes aren’t needed.
Duke University economist John Blackburn further dispels the need for Duke and Progress Energy to gamble tens of billions of public dollars on new coal and nuclear plants. He shows that with only 10% energy efficiency, along with minimal renewable energy and cogeneration (a huge resource that remains untapped due to utility obstruction), Duke can avoid building risky new plants.
☼ The NC legislature’s study shows Cliffside, new nukes aren’t needed.
A 2007 state-commissioned study found that across NC, 14% in energy-saving is achievable, even without including key technologies such as solar water heating.
☼ So why haven’t Cliffside and new nukes already been cancelled?
Because our democracy is wounded – with most elected officials and news media deferring to the power companies and accepting their money instead of scrutinizing their actions. Because our perverse rate system rewards Duke and Progress for building the most expensive power plants. Because those corporations impede energy efficiency and renewables even while spending millions of customer dollars painting themselves “green.”
Both Duke and Progress operate programs that encourage customers to waste energy. In March, the Commission forced them to stop expanding one such program – but allowed 160,000 customers to keep using it.
Efficiency and conservation are urgently needed for reduction of greenhouse gases. The world’s top scientists warn that current weather extremes and wildfires will keep increasing, and that global warming is very close to irreversible, catastrophic tipping points.
The Commission, elected officials and news media must require the power companies to fully explain why they should be allowed to spend public money on high-risk, dangerous new plants that are not needed – while stifling efforts for widespread efficiency and renewables.
“Sinking tens of billions of dollars into new nuclear power plants and
large coal plants will significantly limit the expenditures on other sources
of energy … a series of reasonable adjustments to the demand forecasts can postpone
or eliminate the need for new and expensive generating plants.”
-Dr. John Blackburn, former chair of economics at Duke University and renewable energy expert.
Read his pre-filed testimony for NC WARN: http://ncuc.commerce.state.nc.us/cgi-bin/webview/senddoc.pgm?dispfmt=&itype=Q&authorization=&parm2=GBAAAA55180B&parm3=000127213
Please also send written comments: NC Utilities Commission, 4325 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4325 or email Chairman Edward Finley: email@example.com Re: Docket number E-100, Sub 114
Candidates, public officials and news media need to hear from you. Most have ignored arguments for statewide clean energy – including the urgency of climate change.